Research: Some business owners might say their schedule is demanding enough at the moment, and the thought of adding one more activity to their busy calendar is unbearable. So why should they try to cram time into their already hectic schedules to join and actively participate in their local chamber of commerce?
Because membership in the local chamber offers numerous benefits and keeps business owners on top of important, ever-changing issues and trends within their community and local marketplace. Not only that, but research points out that consumers are more likely to do business with a company if it’s a member of their local chamber of commerce.
According a research study by The Shapiro Group, Inc. and Market Street Services, when consumers in the South know that a small business is a member of their local chamber of commerce, they notice a:
If you still don’t think you have time to join and participate in your local chamber of commerce, consider the following:
1) Membership brings credibility to your business. You can increase positive perception among consumers and business owners when you’re identified as a member of a chamber of commerce.
2) Increase your visibility in the community. As a new member of the chamber of commerce, you will be listed in the chamber directory and have the opportunity to be highlighted in other chamber publications. You also can grow your business by advertising with the chamber and sponsoring events. The chamber may also promote your grand opening/ ribbon-cutting ceremony and assist with any public relations efforts.
3) Create networking opportunities. Chambers have numerous committees and serving on one of them provides numerous networking opportunities as well as professional leadership development. You can build your business while promoting developments of keen interest to local businesses and the community at large.
4) Make contacts in government. The local chamber offers the opportunity to meet local city, county, state, and national elected officials & employees so your voice can be heard.
5) Make business contacts. The chamber’s most fundamental mission is to generate more business activity for the community. The chamber initiates more business-to-business commerce and more opportunities for networking and connecting local professionals than is available through most other local organizations.
6) Receive chamber e-newsletters. Newsletters provide new member information, articles about the local community, a community calendar and details about up-and-coming chamber & community events, among other things.
7) Acquire customer referrals. Your local chamber receives calls from individuals and businesses looking for potential vendors, and chamber members typically recommend chamber members.
8) Chamber events and programs. Chamber events and programs provide members with great opportunities to get to know new people and expand their prospect base. Chamber events are innovative and fun ways to help members meet potential customers, clients and vendors— and generate new business leads.
9) Promotion and publicity. With a chamber membership, you can reach potential clients through member exclusive advertising and opportunities for business-to-business advertising and publicity.
10) Access to members-only discounts and services. As a member, you can offer special discounts/services to members or use the chamber website to offer deals to the general public.