Delegate, Focus, and GROW Your Business

Tips and Tricks for Successful Community and Business Memberships

As a small business owner, you’ve probably been approached to join a business group in your community or pay for a membership for an online business organization. Joining your area chamber of commerce or an online business community like Manta can be a great way to meet other business owners who share your interests and, ultimately, to help grow your business. Maybe you’ve considered joining a group but aren’t sure which one will be most beneficial.

Membership programs can take your business to that next level, providing the marketing and networking opportunities you need. The key is finding the right business membership that fits your needs. Keep in mind that you’ll need to work to maximize the benefits of your membership.

Do it right or don’t do it at all.

Here are some tips and tricks to cultivating success within a community or membership program:

Go big or go home. If you have an opportunity to choose between a business group with a large membership base or a smaller one, generally it’s best to join the larger organization. Why? More contacts bring a greater potential for better business connections.

Don’t settle. Research the available business memberships that interest you online or within an hour or so of your community before selecting one you feel might be a fit. Go to at least two meetings or networking events to get a feel for its members and whether it’s the right environment for you.

Get involved. It may sound obvious, but attend meetings or networking events. It’s difficult to meet that future big client or make that great connection within a business you’ve been seeking if you’re not there. If someone told you that these networking events don’t work, chances are the person dropped by once, didn’t like it and decided never to go back.

Smile. No, really. Attitude is everything. Go into these events with an open mind and positive attitude. If you show up feeling negative or apprehensive, other business group members will probably notice.

Be Patient. It may take some time to meet the perfect client or find the best business leads at one of these events.

Seek out wallflowers. If you’re naturally shy or feel socially awkward at networking gatherings, it’s very likely others feel the same way. Break out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself to those who don’t seem outgoing. Make it a game. Challenge yourself to see how many new people you can meet at each event. The results may be surprising.

If you don’t have the time for a membership, consider delegating some of your workload to a virtual assistant or online business manager.

 photo credit: egorick

Posted on January 7th, 2013 by Rachel Braam, Office Manager

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