Business owners are always looking for ways to bring in customers. The same goes for us at Padgett. In today’s the world of instant communication and social media, it’s easy to forget some of the best ways to build a business. A face-to-face meeting may be the doorway to an exponential avenue of growth. One way to land more face time with potential customers is to use your Chamber of Commerce membership to extend your reach.
In a major city such as Nashville, Tennessee, there is more than one Chamber of Commerce to join. The best way to maximize your network is to join the Chamber that serves the same community your company serves. While there are several reasons to join a Chamber of Commerce, the ultimate one is to connect with people who can help your business.
Chamber memberships run year to year. Once you join, don’t dally. Fill out the forms to get your company’s name out there as soon as you join. This is a basic membership benefit, and you never know who might find you from a listing. Chambers generally have an online membership directory that gives visitors the ability to search for whatever type of business that they need.
Even before you are a member, you can meet Chamber of Commerce members as a guest at an event. Once you join, you can attend member-only events. Choose a committee that meshes with your interests so you can get to know a small group of active members. In a small committee, you can develop relationships with other business people. As Jeff Haden states in his article “9 Habits of People Who Build Extraordinary Relationships,” on Inc.com, “Real success, the kind that exists on multiple levels, is impossible without building great relationships.” Relationship building is the best way to network.
A Chamber of Commerce generally has a well-developed group of programs including relationship building, business growth and development, shared interest groups,and community development and advocacy events. Choose events that have a participatory portion to allow you to talk to other members. Large audience events such as lectures are helpful for career development, but not for networking.
As a Chamber of Commerce member, you have access to reduced rates for business services that save money. Many members will also offer other members coupons or discounts through a member-to-member exchange.
Ultimately, the most effective way to benefit from a Chamber of Commerce membership is to involve yourself and your staff in the Chamber. Invest your time on a regular basis to develop long-term connections with other people who want to positively impact your community. A Chamber of Commerce membership can be a doorway into your community that you will not find anywhere else.
Have you ever attended a Chamber of Commerce event? Or have you ever found connections through an organization that you could not find elsewhere? We can’t wait to hear about your experiences! In fact, by commenting below, you are networking just like you would in a Chamber of Commerce. Get the conversation going now!