Have you ever thought of a way to keep your business moving? Joining a Small business association may not be top of your priority. However, there are numerous reasons why joining a small business association can boost your business entity.
Joining a small business association is key to all entrepreneurs and business owners. It comes with many benefits. To get visibility and networking you need to join an association in your respective industry. There are several local, national and even regional associations that can help you make a step in growing your business. These associations will enhance the business relations and eventually lead to greater success and prosperity.
What Are Small Business Associations and How Can They Help You?
Small business associations are basically organizations that bring together entrepreneurs and business owners from a specific industry. Small business associations are created with an aim of improving business operations and efficiency within the individual members. Some are found in a specific state, county, city or in a country. Whichever way a small business organization may be structured, it can give many benefits to business owners who subscribe to them.
Networking is basically the main reason why businesses join small business associations. It means making contacts and growing relationships with other professionals in your industry to help you and your business progress. Associations bring together relevant professionals in an industry and give members the opportunity to know each other. Joining a small business association will give you an opportunity to interact with like-minded individuals who will boost your business with industry information and support. You will be able to access new customers and get information about the progress in the industry.
The people who interact in a small business association will include CEOs, members who may be customers, suppliers and even business partners. Through the association, company chiefs will meet their counterparts, marketers will meet other marketers, designers with designers, and engineers with engineers.
Some networking activities in associations include:
- Special events like seminars;
- Association meetings;
- Online communities like Facebook and twitter on social media.
As a result of networking, members of the small business association can be able to:
- Get specific knowledge and new techniques in the industry;
- Compare their performance with that of similar companies;
- Find new opportunities by for instance linking customers of companies that do not compete;
- Referrals for services;
- Find prospective job candidates.
These are just but a few of the benefits that come as a result of networking in small business associations.
Other benefits of joining a small business association include:
Education and Training
Business associations bring education and specific training about the industry to the association members. This information is circulated through platforms such as e-learning, provision of market related information and by conducting seminars. Conferences with workshops are also arranged to empower the members with knowledge on the industry. Some small business associations also provide certificate programs for accreditation in specific skills. You can take advantage of these training sessions as a member of the association since they are offered at a special discount for members.
Gaining a Say in Political Initiatives
Business Associations are the representatives of their businesses and members in the political arena. They assume the role of lobbying for better trade legislation by giving advice to the respective bodies. Even if many business associations do not have political affiliations, there are many issues that affect members. For instance, a rise in sales tax is going to directly affect small businesses. This is where the voice of the business association comes in to ensure that members are not negatively affected by any legislation.
This is very important especially when political initiatives are likely to threaten the industry. So, instead of each company going out to reach the government, the business association will do this well. On the other hand, by being part of a business association, the business is able to easily get news on upcoming regulations. A business will therefore be in a position to make the necessary adjustments to adapt to the new regulations that could otherwise have adverse effects on the business.
Increase Your Purchasing Power
The small business association you join can have agreements with suppliers to provide discounts to members on the products or services the offer. In regard to this, you will get products and services at a cheaper rate as compared to going out into the market alone. The business will be able to save much money that could have been used in advertising and tendering for products and services from unfamiliar clients.
An association can provide its members with relevant discounts through this type of purchasing. These can be referred to as win-win negotiations, where the associations, suppliers and even members all benefit from the program.
Improve a Business’s Image and Public Trust
A small business association will be in a position to reinforce your company’s reputation as trustworthy. It will also project a positive image on your customers. When you join a business organization and become a member, many customers or clients view this as an assurance that your company is an established business. It also portrays your business as one that is acceptable in the industry and which follows the set out standards while giving the best products or services.
Some Small business associations will give awards, certificates, and even badges to affirm your good performance as a member. This will go a long way in selling out your business to the customers.
Promote the Industry and Ensure Better Public Relations
The other benefit that comes as a result of joining a Small business association is a good image of the industry you engages in. An association has the goal of generating a positive image of the industry. They can do this by pushing the media to publish news and information that promotes the industry as a unit. The associations are able to push for a good image of your business through the industry by communicating the collective view and position to all opinion leaders.
In conclusion, it is very important for any business entity to join a reputable business association. As the owner of a small business, it should be in your best interest to join a Small Business Association since many benefits will accrue from your membership.
I hope this article was helpful to you. We are open to any comments, suggestions and any other information that will help expand the discussion initiated by this article. Have you been planning to join a small business association? Stop waiting and start acting, the time is now!
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