Many towns and metropolitan areas have a local Chamber of Commerce that organizes small businesses with the goal of furthering business interests and developing local networks. Chambers of Commerce will also work with the local government to represent the business sector when discussing city initiatives.
You might be thinking this sounds great and all, but you’re just too busy to be involved with one more thing. Plus, a membership does cost money. However, being a part of your local Chamber of Commerce offers many benefits that can make the time requirement and cost a worthy expense.
Here are five reasons you should consider joining your local Chamber of Commerce and how it may benefit your business.
Benefits of Joining a Chamber of Commerce
1. Encourages Networking
One of the main purposes of a local Chamber of Commerce is to build a cohesive network of community businesses. Thus, by its very nature, your local Chamber encourages network between business owners. One of the benefits of joining a chamber of commerce is you’re able to actively participate in meetings and events to help build relationships and initiate business-to-business commerce.
For example, you may get to know the owner of the local meat market. He might offer you discounts on any meat you purchase there, while you might offer him discounts on landscaping for his business address. While the green industry is typically thought of as a business-to-consumer market, don’t forget to rule out the leads you can obtain from other business owners. After all, businesses need lawn maintenance too.
For those of you who prefer to network on the web, some Chambers have online forums based on specific business sectors, where you can share expertise and discuss key business issues with peers.
2. Provides Discounts and Referrals
Many Chambers of Commerce provide discounts to other local businesses, ranging from cell phone plans to office supplies to continuing education. You can take advantage of these exclusive members-only discounts for your business, and for your personal life.
You could also consider offering discounts for your own business when joining the Chamber of Commerce. This can help make your business the preferred business for other members, and may even make your business more likely to be the one referred out by the Chamber.
3. Helps with the Government
Chamber of Commerce members are regularly invited to provide feedback on policies that impact local businesses. The local Chamber always advocates for the business community, and if you’re a member you will have the ability to help shape policies and decisions. Would you be in favor of or opposed to a plan to convert an old abandoned lot into a new business center?
Being a member of the Chamber allows you to voice your opinion. The Chamber also helps business owners navigate dealings with the local government. For example, they can help you obtain a permit for your landscaping work and facilitate any conversations that need to happen between you and the government during that process.
4. Increases Exposure
When you become a member of the local Chamber of Commerce, your exposure within the community greatly increases. Many Chambers highlight new members in their newsletters and contain online listings that help direct potential clients to your website. You can also advertise in Chamber publications, newsletters, and other materials.
This avenue of marketing is only available for members of the Chamber, which could help give you an edge over competitors who are not members of the Chamber. However, if your competitors are Chamber members, and you’re not, you can be sure they’re reaching potential clients that are out of your reach.
Another option is to sponsor a Chamber event. This is not without cost and time, but sponsoring an event will give you increased visibility to the entire community.
5. Improves Customer Perceptions
When you are associated with the local Chamber of Commerce, your business gains not only increased community exposure, but also community trust. Studies have shown that consumers are likely to think favorably of a small business that is a member of the local Chamber, and even more likely to purchase goods or services from a Chamber company than a non-Chamber company.
When you are a member of the Chamber of Commerce, potential clients trust that you are an honest, responsible business owner. In addition, there is an increased perception that you are an involved, dedicated member of the community. Community members increasingly prefer to do business with someone who they feel is “giving back” to the community.
Spring-Green Understands the Importance of Community
All in all, there many benefits to becoming a member of your local Chamber of Commerce. The more you put into it, the more you get out. It’s not without time or cost, but it can open up leads, create new business opportunities, and improve your community presence.
Patrick Rentz, owner of Rentz Landscape Management and Spring-Green franchise owner, understands the importance of community. “I liked the concept of neighborhood lawn care—not looking like a huge corporate entity but a locally owned and operated business,” said Rentz. “Lots of people [at Spring-Green] have been working for the company for many years. It’s a real family atmosphere.”
Let the experts at Spring-Green help you manage your growth with our 40 years of experience and our proven expertise in marketing and technology. Learn more about how Spring-Green can expand your lawn care services. Call 1-800-777-8608 or visit us at www.growmygreenindustrybusiness.com.