So why join the Chamber of Commerce? What are the benefits for my business?
Many people have asked me over the past few months what are the benefits of joining the Chamber? It struck me that while we have all heard of a Chamber of Commerce, not many are familiar with what they do and how they can help businesses of all stripes and size.
In the age of digital media, e-marketing and google, one might wonder if Chambers of Commerce are past their use by date. Oddly enough Chamber membership is growing worldwide and it is a trend that shows no sign of slowing. So why are businesses keen on joining?
For many the key benefit is the ability to widen their range of contacts and networks. Whether it is meeting new customers, potential suppliers or just promoting their business, there is nothing as yet to replace the opportunities for direct and face to face contact with other businesses in your local market. But there are a whole host of other benefits too. Typically a Chamber would offer a suite of practical services like the following.
Not least since Chambers of Commerce are membership organisations driven and focussed on delivering benefits to their members, many are innovating on new practical services and creating new ways to serve businesses, especially helping them save time and money. So many Chambers are now featuring a wide range of new services
- British business centres – with access to hot desk space, wifi and other temporary office facilities
- Discounted training and development opportunities e.g. new IT applications, new apps etc
- Lists of approved service providers – Accountants, tax advisors, HR specialists etc.
- Group participation under a UK stand at Trade Fairs and Exhibitions – (often discounted)
- Documentation services including export documentation, legalisation and attestation
- Help with debt recovery and dispute resolution
- Access to the UK Chamber network and other British Chambers worldwide
So you can see that Chambers are far more than just a networking club these days, and the feedback from members is that they are giving more support and help than many businesses realise. For many businesses, especially SMEs, joining a chamber is far less a question of cost but more about how it can help them grow. And in these straitened economic times, any and all help to grow your business is really valuable. Why wouldn’t you join?