As a business owner, there are many benefits to joining your local Chamber of Commerce. The purpose of a Chamber is to provide educational and networking opportunities and to help businesses participate in community events which will help expand the local business economy.
But here is a warning. You can’t just simply join the chamber and expect magical things to happen overnight. You will only get out of your membership what you actually put into it. Which means as a member you need to participate. Your participation in your chamber actually impacts the overall success of the chamber as an organization but also that of your community.
TOP 10 Benefits in Joining Your Chamber
- Discounts – You can receive discounts on everything from ski passes, office supply purchases, travel, shipping services, gym memberships, prescriptions, health and wellness, media advertising, and more.
- Services – Generally include access to business publications, roundtable discussions, industry briefings, magazines, programs, leadership opportunities, business resources and more.
- Partnerships – Provide you with an opportunity to partner with other members, businesses, groups, and organizations to successfully grow and network your company and it’s offerings.
- Marketing and Advertising – Many times you’ll be offered discounted or free advertising once you become a member along with opportunities to have a link on the chamber website. Chambers offer a tremendous amount of advertising and marketing for businesses.
- Advocacy – Your chamber and the leaders within your community work together to advocate on behalf of the business community helping to protect your business and provide additional growth opportunities and incentives.
- Education and Training – Seminars, business workshops, webinars, small business resource events and more. You can find training on topics like a business startup, financing, human relations, insurance, payroll, QuickBooks, leadership, marketing, social media, taxes, employee engagement, and more.
- Economic Development – Your chamber is highly involved in growing your local community and therefore generally works with other organizations to increase the local economy and bring additional businesses into your community.
- Database and Leads – Chambers usually provide a membership list to members, which can be used to help market your business and services to other members. Larger chambers generally offer a leads group to help businesses find and gather solid quality leads.
- Events – Annual events like a chili cook-off, fall festival, BBQ, Rodeo, gala, awards ceremony, business after hours, open houses, concerts, and more. These are all terrific places to meet and great, rub elbows with fellow business professionals, and spread the word about your business. These are great marketing events too.
- Networking – I saved the best for last. This is the core component of any chamber and truthfully any business. The saying goes, “it’s not who you know, it’s who knows you”. Take advantage of as many events and opportunities as you can through your local chamber. The chamber is for your benefit and sometimes you have to stop working in your business, and actually make time to work ON your business.
So get out there, get those business cards and flyers ready, test the 30-second elevator speech and most importantly make time and INVEST in your business. Your chamber membership is generally a tax write off and it’s a wise investment to help grow your business.
Tina Holtz is a serial entrepeneur who owns and operates a boutique virtual assisting and business advisory firm, Executive Business Services, LLC. She has more than 20 years experience in business development, business management, operations, sales, marketing, and procurement. Tina values building relationships and is passionate about helping business owners reach new heights. She provides a vast array of support services to business owners, entrepreneurs, professionals, and executives.
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