Some people think a chamber membership is all about networking and due to that they see it as obsolete. After all, you can just meet other business people online, right? No need to join the chamber, right? Wrong!
Saying that joining an online group for business replaces the need for a chamber membership is like placing a nickel in your piggy bank and claiming to have a retirement account. Both are kind of similar but you’ll never get the same amount of return from that group as you will from a chamber membership. Here’s why.
A Connection with the Community and a Marketable Designation
The chamber is a well-respected community organization. Many people see it as similar to the Better Business Bureau. Your membership, a reputation builder, tells customers that you are intending to be part of the community for a long time.
When you open a new location for your business, hit a milestone anniversary or some other accomplishment, the chamber will be there with a social media mention, perhaps an article, help on a press release, and/or a ribbon-cutting event to celebrate your time in business.
Your online group may be exceptionally supportive and you may even feel like you have a group of online friends, however, they are not lobbying on behalf of your community and business on a local, state, and national level. Your chamber is. While most businesses can’t afford their own lobbyist, they can afford chamber membership.
If you need help on a delicate matter within your business, it’s likely you don’t want to publicize it on a public forum. At the chamber, you can get the help you need or a reference to someone who can assist you without sharing it with the world. Chambers handle delicate situations all the time and they do so with discretion.
Social media will never cover everything your chamber can do for your business. There’s no reason to choose between one or the other. When it comes to business growth, multiple tools and investments are required, and Chamber Membership is an excellent one.