20 Reasons Why Chamber Membership Is One of the Best Business Investments Out There
Chamber membership is one of the best business investments you can make for the money and return.
20 Reasons Why Chamber Membership Is One of the Best Business Investments Out There
Have you ever attended a Cushing Chamber event? If you’re not a member, you’re missing out. Before you think you don’t have the time to attend events, it’s important you know chamber life is not just mixers and ribbon cuttings. Chamber membership is one of the best-kept secrets for free or nearly free business resources like webinars, lunch & learns, and written collateral. Plus, a whole lot more. Chamber membership is one of the best business investments you can make for the money and return.
Is Chamber Membership Worth It?
Not if you don’t know why you’re joining. In this article, you’ll learn all the benefits chamber membership can give you professionally and how it is a worthwhile investment in your business. But before you sign up, for maximum benefit, you should be very clear about what you want out of membership.
Because you want to communicate that to the chamber staff when joining. When they know what you want, they can help get you on the right track. The chamber offers many benefits, and to get what you’re looking for, you need to ensure the chamber knows what that is.
Perhaps you’re not clear what you want out of chamber membership. That’s okay because after reading this list of why membership is a great investment you should have a better understanding of what’s important to you.
What Will I Get with Chamber Membership?
It’s always best to begin at the beginning. If you’re not sure what you need from the chamber, look at a list of member benefits and make a mental note of which of these things are the most important to you/your business:
1. Networking Opportunities: Let’s start with the obvious. The Cushing Chamber offers various networking events, such as mixers like our Business After Hours and our Coffee & Connections; business expos such as our Pipeline Appreciation/Oil & Gas Industry Festival; speed networking events like our Women In Business Luncheons and at other Networking luncheons; and industry-focused luncheons and roundtables, where businesspeople can connect with other professionals, potential clients, partners, and mentors. Building relationships is one of the best ways to help your business grow.
2. Visibility and Exposure: Membership comes with a listing in the chamber's online directory. This can increase your business's visibility and credibility in the local community. The Cushing Chamber has additional opportunities for your business, like being a spotlight business on our social media pages; featured on our website; or being invited to participate in a Festival, Ladies Night Out event, or other member-exclusive exposure opportunity.
3. Credibility and Trust: Being a chamber member can enhance your business's reputation as the Cushing Chamber is generally seen as a credible organization that supports businesses. Membership shows your community you care about the area and have made an investment in it. Becoming a chamber member can also help people get to know your business (and show you’re connected) if you’re new in town.
4. Advocacy and Representation: The Cushing Chamber represents the interests of local businesses to government bodies and policymakers, giving you a voice in local economic and regulatory matters. Being a member makes you part of something larger and thus amplifies your voice and business needs.
5. Business Education: The Cushing Chamber organizes seminars, workshops, and training sessions to help members stay updated on industry trends, business strategies, and best practices. Members and their staff can learn from top-notch thought leaders for just the cost of membership or a token expense to cover the meal. It’s one of the most affordable (and best-kept secrets) in business education.
6. Marketing Opportunities: The Cushing Chamber offers an array of advertising and sponsorship opportunities, allowing businesses to market themselves to the wider community. We often have large audiences/good traffic, name recognition, and a strong reputation—all helpful when looking where to spend your marketing budget.
7. Access to Resources: Members can access resources such as business development guides, market research, and economic data to help them make informed decisions. (The Cushing Chamber also gives away a lot of free information to the community including blog posts, newsletters, articles, etc. that your membership allows you to contribute to as well, to let the community know about your business and how your business can help them through your educational blog posts or news releases on the Chamber’s website pages.) The Chamber also offers extensive leadership programs for interested members to help them achieve their leadership goals, as well as extensive youth leadership programs that allow members to be a part of through committees and sponsorship opportunities.
8. Discounts and Exclusive Offers: The Cushing Chamber negotiates discounts on products and services for their members, ranging from insurance, software, event tickets, shop local initiatives, and travel. Some offer exclusive member-to-member discounts as well that can be posted by members to the M2M Hot Deals website page.
9. Community Involvement: Being apart of the Cushing Chamber provides you with business-directed volunteer opportunities to contribute to community development and philanthropic activities, which can foster a positive public image for your business, whether through a Cushing Chamber specific program Committee or with other Member NonProfit Organizations.
10. Referral Network: The Cushing Chamber often refers their members to others in the community or other members who are looking for specific products or services, increasing your business's chances of gaining new clients. The Chamber’s office is also a Visitors Center and offers a 24/7 front foyer for Member flyers, brochures, business cards, menus, etc. for the public to take with them, or during office hours, one-on-one membership referrals from Chamber staff to visitors/public that stop by the Visitors Center.
11. Partnerships and Collaborations: Connecting with other businesses through the chamber can lead to partnership opportunities, joint ventures, and collaborations on projects.
12. Business Support: The Cushing Chamber provides advice and assistance to businesses, especially entrepreneurs, startups and small enterprises, on various aspects such as how to start a business, referrals to contacts needed to start their business, funding, legal matters, and growth strategies, as well as other opportunities to launch and grow in Cushing, OK.
13. Government Relations: The Cushing Chamber can help businesses navigate government regulations, procedures, and other challenges, as well as provide insights into legislative changes that might affect your operations or the business climate, in general.
14. Access to Influential Contacts: The Chamber attracts a diverse group of professionals, including local leaders, executives, and entrepreneurs, which can open doors to valuable contacts.
15. Brand Building: Active involvement in chamber events and initiatives can help build your brand within the local business community.
16. Market Insights: The Chamber has access to economic and demographic data that can help businesses make informed decisions about their target markets.
17. Professional Development: The Cushing Chamber hosts training sessions, workshops, and leadership development offerings to enhance your professional skills. Your chamber also has opportunities to help you step into a new skill or business. For instance, if you wanted to add the title of professional speaker to your resume and launch a speaking business, you may be able to start with the chamber. By speaking in front of members at a special event, you could build clientele and experience.
18. Local Support Network: Joining the Cushing Chamber can provide emotional support, because you’re part of a community of business owners who face similar challenges. As well-meaning as friends and family are, if they’re not involved in business or your industry, they may not understand your challenges and triumphs the way your fellow chamber members will.
19. Access to Business Services: The chamber offers their members business services such as mentorship, business administration assistance, space rentals, marketing, and consulting. The Chamber also offers marketing material creation and printing up to a certain number, and once a year the Membership addresses printed on mailing labels for free.
20. Membership Perks: While the chamber helps all businesses in the community, whether they are a member or not, the Cushing Chamber provides special perks to members like access to exclusive events, VIP receptions, ribbon cuttings/celebrations, and members-only resources.
Ultimately, the decision to join the Cushing Chamber of Commerce depends on your business's specific needs, goals, and offerings of the Cushing Chamber. Knowing what your biggest challenge is in business can help you see just how impactful a chamber membership investment can be to your business.