February 2022 Blog
Frequently I get asked, “how can my business benefit from joining the Chamber”? My first response would likely be something along the lines of, “that all depends on what you put into it”. As a business owner myself, I too have struggled with the benefits of networking or how joining a chamber can move my business forward. I’ve been in business for 12 years and I probably have plenty of customers. In fact, I turned away more than I could take, not because my schedule is full, but rather finding people to work has been a tremendous struggle over the past two years. I suppose that I could network more to help find quality candidates or perhaps I can find better, more lucrative events.
When I started my position with the Chamber almost a year ago, I wanted to bring value to your membership. Sure, having events like Meet the Chamber, Family Day and our Golf Tournament are fun and engaging events. But the bottom line is that businesses must find value in what they are getting for their money. This year, I was very excited to kick off our social media resource library, our Business Video Spotlight series, and our video advertising program. For both businesses that are new and seasoned, there can never be enough advertising. Most small businesses can’t afford to hire a social media specialist who can create engaging content and post them daily. And not many businesses can afford to hire a video production team to pull together a high-quality video that can be used to get your message out to thousands of potential customers. When I visit with local businesses, the number 1 thing that they tell me is that they need more customers and more employees.
Our goal is to make your business look and feel much larger. We understand that you may not have the time or resources to maintain your social media platforms, or you may not have the financial resources to hire a full-time social media consultant. We want to help you get your message out to as many people as possible all while being cost-effective and requiring very little effort on your part. That is exactly what we are offering. Our social media library contains hundreds of ready to use content. I know that I struggle each day, trying to find something to post. The library makes it easy. Downloading images from Google is risky, and you may be putting your business at and unnecessary risk. And for those Chamber associates who are Chamber Partners or above, you can also get customized content and videos all included in your membership. I like to think of it as the modern-day, alternative from a past era when the Chamber would collect your business cards and display them at the office. Customers looking for services would go into the Chamber office to get a referral. This is just a more efficient and more effective way for the Chamber to help you promote your business and getting your message out to as many people as possible at little or no additional cost.
Our social media platforms are much like I would think of when you buy a new car. When you get your new car, you do everything to keep it shiny and running right. You get that oil change at 3,000 and 6,000 miles, then maybe the next at 12,000. Over time you don’t wash it as often, then your kids spill fries in the back seat, the smell of soccer socks fill the air and before you know it, it’s not so new and not running like it used to. Well, when you started your business, you set up your social media platforms with the goal of letting everyone know all about what you are doing. You posted every day; you engaged in others posts. Your website, all brand-new looks awesome and you are proud to let everyone know that it exists. But over time, you don’t post as often, in fact you may not even post each week. Your website looks exactly like it did when you launched it 5 years ago. Links may no longer work, and content may no longer be valid. Before you know it, your social media becomes nonexistent. Sure, you have a page, but to what value does it bring your business? Today, most consumers look for services and products online. If your online store front looks like you may be closed for business, you could be missing out on opportunities.
Over the past two months we featured two local small businesses (Pink Ink Tattoo and Piper Moon Yoga) in two Business Video Spotlights. In cooperation with the business owners, we were able to get quality content and compile a meaningful video for their businesses. Through our strong social media following, we were able to share the videos and within a week, we were able to reach thousands of potential customers. We were able to get traffic to their Facebook page and their website, as well getting their phone to ring. The best thing is that they can use this video on their websites or in future promotions. And if they decide that they want to do another one down the road, we are here to make that happen. We would love to make that happen for your business.
But that’s not all! There is more than business promotion on our plate. I suppose this is when we offer the free set of steak knives if you order now, lol. This year we are bringing back our Leadership Franklin program which was highly successful in the past. This program provides opportunities for members to meet face to face business leaders and political leaders in our community over an 8-month program. Having those opportunities to sit with leaders in our community is priceless. Imagine what you can accomplish by having a day with your local representative or the CEO of a large Franklin County company.
In addition to our Leadership Franklin program, we are ramping up our First Friday Focus group where we are facilitating meetings with business leaders and government leaders to have a monthly forum to discuss key issues and share valuable information. Have you ever said to yourself, “I wish I could tell government what I think about….” This could be your opportunity!
The point in all of this is that we are working hard to do more and offer more value to our members. Often, people don’t realize that we are a non-profit organization who strongly rely on our membership partners and the success of the businesses in Franklin County. It is more than a monthly networking meeting or participation in a community event. Your Chamber membership is worth what you put into it, and it is what you are willing to take out of it. If you ever considered joining the Greater Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, I encourage you to take a deep look at our mission. We would love to find out how we can help your business grow, all while we continue to grow a strong business community.