Years ago a business joined a chamber in the town it was located. If there were several chambers in the surrounding area, the business owner may have joined those as well.
Today with the number of home businesses growing at an extraordinary rate, these entrepreneurs are choosing which chamber in their area to join and it’s not always based on the location of their home business.
I believe I have 5-6 chambers within a 20 mile radius of where I operate. So which one do I join? Sadly, for home businesses it probably is a decision of which, and not all.
Your Chamber’s Reputation is Winning You Members
I was talking with a colleague (in another state) yesterday and she mentioned she was joining her town’s chamber versus her “area’s” chamber. (I’ll leave it at that to protect the innocent.)
Her reason was that the executive director of her town’s chamber had the reputation of a connector. It was commonly known that this E.D. got to know all of her members and played business matchmaker quite well. She made introductions and suggestions to help each business.
The “area” chamber, on the other hand, had a self-service reputation. It held mixers and encouraged people to network but didn’t facilitate it in any deep way.
For my busy colleague, that made all the difference. If she was going to network on her own she would do it through social media. She wanted someone who would help her make in-roads (via introductions) into her community.
One could argue that the “town” chamber exec had more time and a smaller membership than the “area” chamber. But her members are probably more loyal due to her efforts. She has a reputation of making everyone feel welcome and wanted but she also helps them grown their business. Her reputation proceeds her and it translates to her chamber.
As companies become less and less tied to a geographic location, the chamber(s) they choose to join will become more about reputation and member experience and less about location as well.
Do you know what your chamber’s reputation is (compared with those around you)?
Guest post by Christina Green
Image via Flickr by Kevin Dooley
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