Business 101: What Is a Chamber of Commerce (And Should You Join)?
Small businesses make up 99.9 percent of all U.S. businesses. A little over 50% of these small businesses fail within the first five years. More than 42% of failed businesses fail due to a lack of a demand network for their products and/or services.
Most successful businesses belong to a chamber of commerce. But, what is a chamber of commerce? Is joining a chamber of commerce important to the success of your business?
Read along to learn everything you should know.
What Is A Chamber Of Commerce?
A chamber of commerce is an official group of businesses in a local area. It can be both public and private. It serves as a collective voice for businesses. Learn here the benefits of joining a chamber of commerce.
What Are the Advantages Of Joining a Chamber of Commerce?
In a rapidly changing economy, businesses must stay competitive. This is where joining a Chamber of Commerce comes into play.
Business Network Opportunities
A Chamber of Commerce membership means networking with like-minded individuals, businesses, and organizations. The organization can organize lobbying efforts to influence lawmakers about trade-related issues.
Among such efforts are those of the United States Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, Suzanne Clark. By joining, you’ll have excellent opportunities for professional and business development.
It can be beneficial in terms of gaining leverage in the marketplace. Members gain business referrals and other forms of advice.
It can also provide exclusive discounts to members. Businesses can gain access to these discounts, which can increase profits. Furthermore, discounts can be in the form of access to essential tools and resources.
Through chamber meetings and events, you also have access to workshops and seminars led by professionals. Learn business 101, effective marketing, lead generation, and financial management strategies.
Moreover, you can benefit from being exposed to new ideas and trends in the business world.
What Are the Disadvantages of Being a Member of Chamber of Commerce
While the benefits are valuable, there are some potential disadvantages to joining the chamber of commerce. Keep reading to learn if you’d value the advantages of joining over these cons.
Cost of Joining and Dues
The cost of joining a chamber of commerce varies by location and size. An individual may pay a small fee. Businesses pay annual membership fees determined by their size and number of employees. Membership provides access to services and resources.
The Time Commitment
The time commitment depends on your level of commitment and the size of the local chamber. Commitments include chamber meetings, charity work, and attending seminars. Some of these are business hours.
Not Suitable for All Types of Businesses
Businesses in industries with high customer loyalty may not benefit from joining. Businesses that are non-profit or non-commercial, would not be allowed to join. Businesses targeting a niche market or international contacts may not get enough value.
Consider Being a Member of Chamber of Commerce
What is a chamber of commerce? Here’s what it is. It can be a great way to gain exposure for your business. Build a meaningful business network.
Consider joining a chamber of commerce or contacting your local chapter. Find out more about membership and what it can do for you.
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