What comes to mind when you think about the chamber of commerce? Is it the sponsor of a small-town parade, the organization who provided the prize for your elementary school spelling bee or a bunch of “talking heads” who meet every Tuesday in City Hall?
As it turns out, your local chamber of commerce can do far better than a parade, a prize or a meeting. In fact, they can be a boon for your small business. Here’s what you need to know.
Your Visibility Increases
A small business needs as much help as it can get. It needs publicity. It needs visibility. And joining your chamber of commerce can give you both.
Imagine being listed in the “Businesses to Visit” section of the welcome brochure that people receive when they visit your city. Imagine being highlighted in the chamber’s newsletters or other publications. Imagine getting a shout-out on social media occasionally.
The chamber of commerce exists to promote businesses just like yours. Why not take advantage of their help?
You’ll Meet Like Minds
Let’s be honest: You’re not the only small business in town, and you’re not the only one who has joined the chamber, either. Competition can be scary, but you’re all on the same side here — and the ability to network with other people in the same boat (friend or foe) can be invaluable.
Do you sell street tacos? Great! The chamber can put you in touch with other food cart owners in your city. Some of them may also sell street tacos — on a different corner or a different side of town — but they have the same problems you do. There’s no need to be bosom buddies with your direct competitor, but the network you create can help you both, and chamber meetings will help facilitate the connection.
You’ll Have Access to Training and Education
Business conferences are expensive. So are retreats, classes and workshops. But your local chamber of commerce may be able to provide training and education at a reasonable cost — and sometimes, at no cost at all.
Chamber meetings regularly feature guest speakers, educators and trainers in many industries. Sit in on a meeting and you’ll (probably) benefit in one way or another, even if it doesn’t directly address your small business.
Remember the parades we talked about in the introduction? Your chamber of commerce can help you get there. Community exposure is a big deal when you’re small, and by partnering with them, you’ll be able to get the latest scoop on the happenings in your town.
Would you like to volunteer to help spread the goodwill? Again — the chamber is your best bet. Whether it’s soup kitchens during the holidays, a Habitat for Humanity build in the summer or a street cleanup in the spring and fall, you’ll hear about the comings and goings of your community from the chamber first.
(Be sure to wear company-branded shirts and post pictures of your service on your social media pages. It may seem self-serving, but it’s really just good business.)
So … What’s the Catch?
If something seems too good to be true, it probably is … right?
Not so fast. While there’s no such thing as a free lunch, most chambers base their monthly and yearly dues on the number of employees you have. (This is one time that it pays to be small!) According to Grasshopper, you’ll probably have to shell out $30 to $40 per month — a small price to pay for such big benefits!
A simple Google search can get you in touch with your local chamber of commerce. Each one is different, but the benefits they offer can’t be denied. Partner up today and see where your chamber can take you!
Looking for more great marketing tips? Mischa Communications has you covered! Reach out today and let us know what we can do to increase your bottom line, decrease your stress and make you a better business!