Merchant Association: The Benefits of Joining
Business associations bring together business owners to provide a number of benefits to those who participate. We're going to go through some advantages of why paying the small due is easily worth every dollar and then some.
There is always a problem to solve and a hurdle to overcome, odds are that someone near you has already found the solution to that problem that's been vexing you for days. A great community also hosts free workshops, meet-and-greets, and newsletters to create opportunities to share those solutions and best practices. Through constant communication, business owners recognize and share trends that could change the way they approach their business or customers.
Standards & Community
Biz associations work together to recognize bad business practices that harm the overall community and create standards intended to improve the reputations of all their members. This also helps everyone keep each other accountable for the community. When a customer comes to the area they see not only your business but the other businesses in the district, and if some don't treat customers well or are perceived to be offensive in some way, it hurts business for the other businesses in the community.
While some businesses that belong to an association are likely to be competitors, they still share certain needs and general questions. The association members can help one another directly with referrals for services such as accounting, maintenance, permit and licensing, and marketing.
Discounts on certain products and services are always great. These perks can include things like the option to enroll in group health insurance. insider discounts on goods & services, and much more. Associations have much greater buying power than any of their single members, since they can negotiate and close deals based on much higher volumes, which is the combined buying power of the members. This allows associations to get better deals than what a single company can get. This is also very convenient for suppliers, who can negotiate a deal with many customers in one single agreement, with much lower commercial costs.
Business associations give the individual small business a louder voice concerning political issues, like if there is proposed legislation that threatens to harm local business. These associations give businesses a place to coordinate and cultivate their views, while quickly being able to mobilize and attack the issue at hand, whether it be a new regulation on building codes, signage, accessibility or anything else.
There are few things as fun and good for the business community as events, if done well it can bring thousands of dollars to the area and get customers who've never heard of your business a positive experience that will make them returning customers. Planning events by yourself can be incredibly tasking, expensive, and you can only reach so many people. When the community is involved you get access to more money, bigger events, and an exponentially larger network of possible customers.