Small and medium size businesses face challenges that are very different from large businesses. For many start-ups and growing businesses things like health care, benefits, advertising, and other services are unattainable. As these can all help a business to grow stronger, joining a business group such as a chamber of commerce can have many benefits. Here Asif Ali Gohar discusses the benefits of joining a business or networking group, and how to select the right one for you.
The benefits of a business support group such as a chamber of commerce, networking groups, or trade boards, can range from lower costs to more supports for the businesses through the city or town, and even help to provide health benefits for members and their employees. By combining the goals and bargaining power of several smaller businesses they are able to affect more change in their communities and provide more supports for their employees.
Regulations, rules, laws, and restrictions such as zoning and curfew, are all controlled by the local governments. When a business needs something to be changed or wants to make improvements, they can have a larger bargaining power by joining with other businesses that need the same thing. By working together, they can fund campaigns and show a wider range of benefits to the community if things are adapted to work better for them. It also helps to have connections with other businesses as well as connections with the local government and residents. By improving the size and strength of a business network changes are easier to achieve.
Another benefit of joining business networking groups is to grow business contacts. Asif Ali Gohar has used these contacts to find new suppliers, to get better shipping rates through networking with those who run the shipping channels and meeting new farmers or other members in the community. Using these networks of people who know more people, can greatly decrease the time spent looking for connections and comparing prices or contracts. It improves the working knowledge of the are and who the top suppliers are, who has better rates, and if there are any other businesses that can help each other.
When selecting the right fit for you, Asif Ali Gohar recommends starting locally. Find the closest one to you and where your headquarters are. These will be the businesses that are most likely to share the same or similar interests, and will offer products and services in the area that you need them in. Most cities and towns will have some type of business network, and the town hall will have the needed information to contact them. You can join more than one if there are a few in the area, or you can join them in each area that your business operates in.
Business networking groups, trade groups, and chambers all offer a way to meet other business owners and be involved in the community. They offer many advantages including health benefit options, increased buying power, connections with related businesses including suppliers and buyers, and offer opportunities to become more active and support the community.