To Chamber or Not To Chamber
This is a question that I have been asking myself for quite sometime. Should I join the local Chamber Of Commerce and would it benefit a small business like mine. I do attend many networking groups and gatherings and know the importance of doing so. The Chamber has remained a question towards my investment due to the cost of joining and the shear size of the community. I had concern of just becoming a lost number amongst many other businesses in my industry represented.
After research, consideration and a recent meeting over coffee with a very trusted and admired business mentor, I have decided to take a chance and monitor the results.
What are the attractive features that shifted my concerns?
- If you represent a large industry like mine, you must have confidence that “your work will speak for itself”. In website design and web management, it’s fairly simple to sell your product to a potential customer if you have a attractive portfolio of previous work.
- Who is my target clientele? The typical chamber member is often one of the decision makers in small business. CEO,s, marketing directors, ect. ThIs is the target audience for my company. This will definitely differ for each industry and something to consider.
- By joining the chamber, you are immediately added to a list of members with a profile listed on the chamber web directory, sometimes receiving 2000 hits a day.
- You will also gain access to the contact information of every member in the network. Having said this, be very careful how you use this. A well formatted, very informative “Occasional” email may be accepted and received well but you do not want to be “that company” that abuses this privilege. Many chambers have thousands of members so a generous and non salesy email could be very beneficial and could show people you are a expert in your field.
- Special events. Besides being a fun thing to attend, these special events is the perfect way to connect with members (in my case potential customers) on a more relaxed and personal level. Great relationships are built this way as clients do not feel pressured and again, you have the chance to educate the other member on your services, offer free advice and show them you are reputable and expert in your industry.
With all of this being said, I encourage you to do your own research and determine if the ROI from the membership cost would produce adequate exposure.