Dread Those Trade Associations No More
We can almost hear it now… “Ugh, those trade associations. I don’t have the time or the funds to join.” As a small business owner, there’s no doubt you are pulled in a million directions on a daily basis. We know, the mounting frustration can cause you to lose your sanity at the drop of a hat (we’ve been there too). And given you spend most of your mental space on innovative ways to grow your business, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Here’s the good news – joining a trade association can provide more advantages than you realize. Check out a few benefits of joining an association that will help you invest in both you and your business.
Knowledge is Power
Who doesn’t love instant knowledge to industry-specific information that could help your business thrive?!? By joining an association, you likely have many opportunities to attend webinars, conference and seminars on leading topics folks in your industry are concerned about or interested in. Add in the ability to have unlimited access to white papers, case studies and articles written by professionals in your niche market and you have your #1 reason to fill out that association membership paperwork sitting on the corner of your desk.
Training & Certification Opportunities Abound
It’s not uncommon for some trade associations to offer training or certification programs to their members. Knowing you have the ability to take a few online classes and listen to great speakers is one thing. Doing that to gain certification status is another. Having various accreditations or certifications attached to your business helps drive customer loyalty and builds confidence in the products/services your business provides – and that’s a game changer. Be sure take advantage of those associations who also provide training or mentorship programs that align you with coaches in order to help you achieve your business goals. That’s a win-win for everyone!
Top of Mind Brand Recognition
While joining an association has many perks, one you will happily benefit from is the power of brand recognition. Being a member of an accredited group helps project a positive image of your business to current customers, new prospects and even the community in which you operate. Membership also helps strengthen your brand as it allows you to put yourself in a position to learn about new industry innovations, trade secrets and ways to add new products or services to your portfolio to better service your customers. Building your brand isn’t a journey that should be made alone – making a commitment to join an association which is making a commitment to enhancing the brand you worked so hard to develop.
Network, Network, Network
If you’re not convinced to join a trade association, just wait…here’s another BIG benefit. Networking. While it sounds simple, it may be the most impactful benefit you will get from joining an association. As a small business owner, you likely don’t have time in your already packed schedule to get face-time with others in your industry. By attending regular meetings or association gatherings, you have the opportunity to meet new customers, create new business relationships, expand your company’s reach and even talk with your competitors (it’s a good thing…go ahead, give it a try).
Now go join that association! And don’t forget to check out our Resource Center for more posts like this.
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Now go join that association! And don't forget to check out our Resource Center for more posts like this.