Have you been weighing the benefit of joining a Chamber? Here is an article posted in Off the Ground a while back that has some great thoughts and insights. If you are really hungry for some good reading…maybe link to the article and read the comments people made on the writing. Seems they saw the need for something we did as well…the need for digital engagement to be a huge part of what we do. The very reason you are experiencing this beautiful site.
Here it is…
Is it Worth It to Join The Local Chamber of Commerce?
by Kaleigh Moore — Published in Off the Ground on
What IS The Chamber of Commerce?
It’s actually quite simple– a chamber of commerce is a group that’s dedicated to protecting and promoting the local business community. The primary goal? To help business owners network and grow.
You can join a local group, like the South Chicago Chamber of Commerce, or a national group like the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce.
These organizations host networking events, fundraisers, workshops, and other activities, all with the aim of connecting local business owners.
The Chamber of Commerce has a good reputation, and
many consumers have positive perceptions of members and their businesses.
In fact, you may be interested to know that according to a 2012 study conducted by the Schapiro Group, 49% of consumers were more likely to think favorably of a local business if it was a member of the local Chamber— and 80% were more likely to purchase a product or service from a Chamber member.
Source: The Schapiro Group
Many Chambers of Commerce offer discounts to members on everything from office supplies to continuing education. You may get access to email lists, as well as first dibs on booths at trade shows and other events.
How Much Does it Cost?
The average cost of membership depends on the size and number of employees your business has. Many small business memberships fall into the $30-40 per month range. Most chambers charge a $300 – $400 yearly fee.
What Do Business Owners Think About Membership?
We asked around to see if business owners think their membership is worth it. Most interviewees said yes, however they reminded us that you get what you put in– that means attending events, volunteering, and getting involved.
Here’s what they said:
What About National Chambers of Commerce?
One interviewee pointed out that sometimes, being a member of a national Chamber of Commerce could be an important option to consider in addition to local membership.Stan Kimer, President at Total Engagement Consulting, is a member of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and has been an active participant—which is now paying off through big opportunities.
Stan’s reasons for being a national member:
- National conferences present opportunities to meet even broader audiences
- Large scale volunteer efforts can lead to large scale business partnerships
- A national niche membership provides a unique identifier
The Chamber is Usually Worth it
Overall, most business owners feel a Chamber of Commerce membership is a must-have. There aren’t many cons– it’s an affordable group that will foster immediate connections and promote your business.
However, the Chamber of Commerce isn’t a magical business solution where you’ll see immediate ROI.No matter what, you’ll have to work hard to get what you want out of it. And, you might run into your competitors. You’ll have to put on your game face when you do.
Businesses that operate solely on the Internet or don’t plan on staying in the area for an extended period of time might find that there are other associations that better meet their needs. Local Chamber of Commerce members are typically area businesses who want to invest in the local demographic.
THIS STORY IS IN OFF THE GROUND, WITH INFO ABOUT WORD OF MOUTH, BRANDING.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kaleigh Moore is the founder of Lumen, a company that helps individuals and businesses expand their reach through social media, copywriting, and design.