I have had the honor this week to be able to speak to the Carolinas Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, and I wanted to take the time to encourage you to join your local chamber and get as involved as your time allows.
The majority of cities and towns across the United States and many abroad have a local area Chamber of Commerce. As a business owner, joining your local chamber and really getting plugged in and involved can bring tremendous benefits to you, your business and to your local and greater community.
As someone who has served on committees and on a Board of Directors for my local chamber, I would like to offer up 5 ways you can grow your business by becoming a member of your local Chamber of Commerce:
1. Attend Chamber sponsored events. These include:
- Lunch and Learns
- Committee Meetings
- Annual Dinners
- Benefit Functions
- Networking Breakfast Meetings
- Membership Drives
- Ambassador Programs
2. Become a Chamber Ambassador. As mentioned above, becoming an ambassador for your chamber will give you the opportunity to visit potential new members and business owners who will in turn learn more about you. The more visible you are in your community, the more likely people will choose you when buying a product or service.
3. Serve on a Chamber Committee. Each Chamber of Commerce offers members the opportunity to serve on sub committees. These committees may include the following
- Special Events
- Military Affairs
- Membership Drives
- Community Outreach
In choosing a committee, you will want to look closely at the committees where your skills can best be used. Your skills and assets will indeed be noticed, which is a form of marketing for you and your business or can lead to a nomination for a Board of Directors position.
4. Volunteer to be the coordinator for a major Chamber event. All Chambers sponsor membership and fundraising events, and they are mostly coordinated by volunteers. As with point number three, your skills will not go unnoticed.
5. Serve on your Board of Directors. Serving on your Board of Directors is the most visible way to show your assets and your leadership skills. Having said this, serving on your Board of Directors will take time, and your Chamber will want to see that you are a loyal, hard working and disciplined business leader and Chamber member. Your Chamber will also be looking for the amount of time you have lived, worked and served in your local community, so be patient, and then speak to the CEO or President of your Chamber about your desire to serve on the board.
At the end of the day, the first step to growing your business through your Chamber is to join and get as involved as your time allows. You will be so happy with the contributions you make and the rewards which follow.