The Five Steps to Joining a Chamber of Commerce
Joining your local Chamber of Commerce heeds a number of benefits for any business looking to legitimize themselves. The purpose of a Chamber of Commerce is to aid local businesses by promoting them and offering their own useful resources. Aligning with a Chamber not only makes your business look more legitimate, but also connects you with other businesses, providing a fantastic networking platform. Although every Chamber differs as far as entrance requirements go, the following list covers the essentials of making a successful entry into your local branch.
Do your homework
The first step requires some research on your part. This can be done through a few quick Google searches and little else. Your local Chamber’s website should tell you what they’re all about and what they can do for you. The website should also be able to enlighten you on the admissions process, which leads directly into the next step.
After doing the proper research, prepare to submit an application for your business. This can often be obtained from your branch’s website, although some Chambers of Commerce may prefer a physical application over an electronic one. Be sure to read the application carefully and follow their guidelines accordingly, understand what they want and what you want to get from them. The fee behind your application will vary depending on the services you request.
Once the application is done, what next? It’s time to put yourself out there. Attend as many events as you can that are sponsored by your Chamber. Whether it be formal affairs or barbeques, these sorts of events are ideal for networking. Attending these events allows your presence to be known; meanwhile you can build relationships with both professionals and the Chamber itself. These events are some of the best small business resources you could possibly ask for, so don’t pass them up.
The fine print
The next step expands on the previous. Now that you’ve put yourself out in the open physically, it’s time to do so in print. Your Chamber can provide you new exposure through its website and newsletter, and it’s up to you to ask for such an opportunity. New organizations usually get snippets on these publications where they have a chance to display their services and explain what they’re all about. Don’t let this opportunity get away from you.
The total package
Your final task in joining a Chamber of Commerce sees you submit a promotional package to your local branch. This package will encompass everything which details your “brand,” such as logos, slogans, information packets, brochures, and another other materials to promote your business. Not only will this give the Chamber the exact resources to help expose your business, but it will also label you as a serious organization.
The bottom line
Joining a Chamber of Commerce is one of the most important small business ideas to consider, as it maximizes exposure and helps to legitimize your business. Look to join one sooner rather than later and reap the benefits.