“The Chamber of Commerce – what can my business get from them that I’m not already doing on my own.”
This is a regular question that I receive while I’m out meeting with businesses across the area. My response, “why would you NOT want to be a member?”
The Chamber means something different to every business and every member. The Chamber is your one source for member savings programs, it is a key player in business networking and it carries one of the highest influences for advocacy across the state. The Chamber provides visibility and access for its members and promotes ongoing training and educational activities along with being a resource for low cost advertising.
To help you find out why you should join the Chamber, I will be taking you through a seven part journey that will help you navigate through the tough questions and why it only makes sense for you to join; not from my perspective, but through the eyes of another business person just like you. I would like to thank Mr. Tony Rubleski; President of Mind Capture Group for sharing his viewpoint on why every business should be a member of their local Chamber of Commerce.
“In a world loaded with marketing options and information overload, I’m often asked by new and existing business owners for a simple, inexpensive way to increase their local visibility and marketing efforts, to produce more opportunities and sales. Without a doubt, I always ask a stunningly simple question; Are you a member of your local chamber of commerce? I get one of three answers:
2. No, but tell me more
3. We used to be a member
Now I know every person has opinions, but I’d like you to take a moment to read this brief article to discover why I strongly feel EVERY business and non-profit organization should be a member of their local chamber, regardless of the size of their organization, marketing budget, years in business, or even if they’ve heard or possibly had a negative chamber experience in the past.
Visibility – Yes, you’ve heard it said time and time again, out of sight means out of mind. This is not a smart strategy for any business, especially when times are good. A market can change quickly. As Jim Collins says, good is the enemy of great. This is a great statement, but I’d like to add to it as it relates to marketing: ‘Good is the enemy of great, but often times, complacency and short term thinking are the enemy of sustained marketing breakthroughs.’
Let’s look at a real world example of chamber complacency in action. Having worked with hundreds of chambers throughout North America, I’m simply baffled that within many communities, how few real estate agents and automotive sales reps are either non-existent or barely active within their local chamber. In these two highly competitive and crowded markets you’d think these folks would do anything to stand out from the competition and fully leverage the chamber to get an edge. Nope. It’s as if they have no idea the local chamber exists and how it can benefit their business.
Visibility is key for most business. The Chamber has multiple ways to help you become more visible. Every member is provided a listing on our website and who doesn’t like getting involved in our business-community events like A Taste at the Crossroads, the Air Show Parade and Business-Community Expo. We offer a mailed and emailed newsletter that reaches over 400 area businesses and you can always count on our multiple networking functions and printed membership directory to add to your company’s visual impact all with one simple and easy membership. I encourage you to follow our series, right here in the Vandalia Drummer News. Next month we will tackle how to become more accessible with your Chamber membership. Should you have questions about becoming a member of the Vandalia-Butler Chamber of Commerce, we would love to speak with you.
Will Roberts is the President/CEO of the Vandalia Butler Chamber of Commerce. Reach him at 898-5351 or visit the Chamber website at vandaliabutlerchamber.org.