10 Reasons to Join a Chamber of Commerce

The global pandemic has provided the biggest economic shock since the GFC. And many business owners are looking for new means of support as they face the challenges ahead.

There’s no better time to consider joining a chamber of commerce. If you’ve never explored this possibility, here are 10 typical benefits of business chamber membership.

1. Be part of something bigger

Join a business chamber and you’re never alone. As a member of a business community, you will find yourself surrounded by like-minded individuals negotiating similar challenges.

2. Build your network

Connect, collaborate and network like never before. As an active chamber member, you can meet and build working relationships with an extensive range of business owners and leaders. When you expand your network, it can open a door to new business opportunities.

3. Learn as you go

Constantly learn from the experience of others, as others will learn from you. This ongoing exchange of knowledge is a valuable part of the chamber experience. Some chambers also offer short workshops covering areas like strategic networking, presentation skills, marketing, leadership and other topics that help SME owners to expand their knowledge.

4. Access the right expertise

Variety is the spice of life. At meetings and events, you could find yourself sitting next to an IP lawyer, marketing expert, healthcare specialist or IT guru. Ask your burning question and you may well leave with some valuable new insights that will contribute to improving your business.

With a broad selection of professional services represented, finding the right expertise when you need it is easy. Most chambers have a membership directory you can access, but you can also ask members you know for their recommendations.

5. Boost your personal development

Getting more involved in your chamber can lead to opportunities to develop your public speaking skills, participate in panel discussions, contribute to working groups or other chamber projects. By playing an active role, you build your confidence and learn new skills at the same time.

6. Stay ahead of the news

Keep up to date with the latest business news and developments in your area so that you can make the most of business opportunities at a local level.

7. Showcase your business

Chambers can offer valuable exposure for a business. Opportunities can include hosting or sponsoring events, become a contributing author on the organisation’s blog, becoming a supply partner or simply taking advantage of low-cost newsletter advertising to create awareness of your brand among members.

8. Enjoy special offers

Your chamber is likely to have bonus offers exclusively targeted to members. For instance, Sydney Hills Business Chamber offers free NSW Business Chamber Affiliate Membership to all SHBC members. Member businesses may also offer special deals and discounts to their fellow members.

9. Supercharge relationships

Each chamber finds its own way to help members connect and grow. SHBC has MyBoard – a program designed to establish closer working relationships within small groups of industry-diverse members. These small groups meet fortnightly to discuss challenges and opportunities, and to learn more about each other’s businesses. This boosts the quality of networking, which in turn can increase referrals and collaborations.

10. Find your place

While many chambers are regional in nature, others aim to facilitate trade networks across international borders. The Australian British Chamber of Commerce is one example. There are others – American, Canadian, French, and Italian, to name a few.

If you’re an enthusiastic networker, you might join more than one chamber. Whether you join one or several, the key to successful networking isn’t in the number of people you meet, but in the depth and quality of the relationships you build along the way.

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