What Your Local Chamber of Commerce Can Do for You

For all our past, present and future franchise owners, we have some more knowledge to share with you and your business. We’d like to delve into what your local Chamber of Commerce can do for you. No doubt you are probably familiar with the concept. A consortium of local businesses who conduct meetings, business and networking for the express purpose of supporting one another. And the beauty of your local chamber is that there almost certainly is one—regardless of the population of your hometown. 

As a franchise owner, your local Chambers of Commerce can become an invaluable resource for your operations. At its heart, chambers operate as a de facto trade board, promoting and advocating on your behalf as well as other members. Fees are typically nominal and it’s a tremendous way to build goodwill right in your own community for the goods or services you’re selling to the public. Once you’re ready to open your doors, it’s even likely that a representative of your local chamber will seek you out to invite you to join. And if you decide to do a promotional grand opening (complete with the salutary ribbon-cutting), guess who’s going to show up in support? Your fellow chamber officers and members.

Businesses who belong to their local Chambers of Commerce typically seek out other members to do business with first, which is why membership places you in their annual directory in the first place. Chambers are groups designed to support one another through referrals. But by far one of the best benefits is the opportunity to network which chambers provide. Typical chamber outfits get together for monthly after-hours meetings and mixers, all designed to have you introduce yourself to the other members and vice-versa. You never know where just one good connection may lead.

It is also typical for local Chambers of Commerce to conduct additional business outreach through local nonprofits and charity causes, many of which are tied to other civic-minded organizations. See? Your networking opportunities could triple! Parades, festivals, annual events, fun runs and local business expos are but a few examples where you could have direct involvement as a chamber member.

When chamber-sponsored events are planned in advance, your franchise—as a member—may get exclusive opportunities to promote and advertise your business. Almost every chamber keeps a calendar listing of upcoming events and utilizes a monthly newsletter to disseminate information on key get togethers. If you find an upcoming event that matches up nicely with your franchise operations, make an effort to get involved and see what hyper-local promotion is all about.

As a franchise owner, your local Chambers of Commerce membership can be an important stepping stone to success. But we want to reiterate an old adage here---you’ll get out of it what you put into it. Just joining your local chamber and putting the seal on your exterior door won’t accomplish much if you don’t make the effort to attend the meetings, introduce yourself and promote your franchise. If and when you do join, find out if there are ways for you to get involved beyond the membership level. Seek out a committee. Join a task force. Become an advocate and support your local Chambers of Commerce. It’s a great way to rep your franchise to your community.

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