Why you should join a Chamber of Commerce

admin | Tuesday January 12, 2016

6 Benefits to joining your local chamber of commerce

When starting a new business, it’s tough to know how to start your marketing process. Many new companies don’t have the internal resources to support a huge marketing campaign, making it difficult to know what first steps to take.

In our experience, joining the local Chamber of Commerce is a necessary first step for new businesses, as well as a hugely beneficial one for already established companies. Just in the short time we at MadAddie have been members of the Saratoga Chamber of Commerce, we have garnered invaluable business, partnerships, and connections.

The Chamber provides us with the following 6 benefits:

1. Business Support

The Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce has connected us with strategic partners based on our company’s need for payroll, project management, HR requirements and time tracking solutions. They have also provided key mentoring connections to help us grow our business.

2. Increased marketing power

Every business’s marketing plan should include a smooth integration of traditional and online marketing. The Chamber of Commerce can provide you with both.

In terms of traditional marketing, local Chambers of Commerce market their member businesses. You’ll be included in business guides and directories, as well as receive referrals from Chamber staff and fellow Chamber members. If you want to be considered as a featured business in their next campaign, your membership in the Chamber will give you that opportunity.

In terms of online marketing and search engine ranking, having your company listed in your Chamber’s directory is extremely valuable.

As soon as we joined the Saratoga Chamber, we submitted a member profile online. The profile included a link to our website, our contact info, company description, and video content. Right away, the video that we submitted was viewed 63% more than our other videos and saratoga.org was the top referral in our Youtube analytics, producing 34% of our overall views.

In terms of web traffic, the chamber page has given us 8% additional traffic to our website and saratoga.org gives us the most referral links out of all of our referral resources.

Additionally, by joining the Chamber of Commerce, you have the opportunity to be part of their directory. Once you link out to their directory from your website, you are pulling in relevant content, which Google loves! This also greatly contributes to your search engine ranking.

3. Credibility

Showing that you are part of an organization that specifically supports local businesses is extremely advantageous. According to a study conducted by the Schapiro Group, when consumers know that a small business is a member of a chamber of commerce, they are 49% more likely to think favorably of it and 80% more likely to purchase goods or services from the company in the future.

4. Networking opportunities

Everyone who is a member of the Chamber has the same goal: to meet people and form connections. Attending Chamber events and mixers to get your name out there and pass out some business cards is never a bad idea. However, in most circumstances you won’t be making a sale at these events, so that probably shouldn’t be your goal. Instead, take some cards, pass some out, have nice conversation, go home and connect with the people you met on Linkedin, and ask them out to lunch or a cup of coffee. Then that specific meeting can be where you both decide if professionally you have mutual needs or opportunities. If you don’t, a cup of coffee never hurt anyone, maybe you’ll make a friend!

5. Referrals, leads, and partnerships

Because Chamber members all share the same goal, they are great resources. Maybe the member you meet isn’t a direct customer, but chances are, they know someone who could be.

Most Chambers, like the one in Saratoga, facilitate leads groups. In these meetings, members bring leads to the table that could help other businesses that are represented in the group. It was in a meeting such as that where a potential customer heard of MadAddie and reached out to see if our services could meet their needs. It turns out, they are the perfect client for us. At that point, all we had done was join the Chamber and our membership had already prompted a valuable lead!

Additionally, in the process of setting up our business, we were struggling to find a trusted person or system to hold our payroll. Through the Chamber, a payroll company learned of our new business and contacted us. Again, we were the perfect match! MadAddie’s HR and payroll is now in the hands of a dependable company and the company, also members of the Chamber, gained a customer! A win-win partnership, all thanks to the Chamber.

6. Ability to contribute to the local community

Although it may be the last on our list, it is certainly not the least. Business and community are one in the same. A strong business will have a hard time surviving without being part of a strong community, and vice versa. By taking part in the local Chamber, you are demonstrating strong leadership in the business community and beyond. Contributing to the positive economic growth of your community by supporting other local businesses, creates a climate of positive momentum. Take part!

Joining your local Chamber of Commerce provides everything you need to sustain a successful business and by participating, you are ensuring that your area continues to flourish.

Convinced? Typically there is a Chamber of Commerce in all cities and states. Chances are, there is a Chamber in your area and the good news is, you can join more than one!

Are you a member of the Saratoga, NY community? Contact John Marcantonio, Membership Director at (518) 584-3255 or jmarcantonio@saratoga.org. Or contact MadAddie for more information on how we have benefited from our membership! info@madaddie.com