Many business owners find themselves asking, why do I (or my business) need the Chamber? My business is fine. To pull a Kennedy on you, ask not why you need the Chamber, but what you can do for the Chamber…
The Tottenham Beeton & District Chamber of Commerce serves the local business community as well as the residents of the community. The Chamber, as we like to call it, has been around in various incarnations since 1946 and was once the bastion of commerce. Being a member lent credibility to business and gave a certain level of confidence to consumers. It showed the world that you were serious about business and that you stood shoulder to shoulder with other members of the business community. You were not alone and together we were stronger. Membership helps give a unified voice to business.
Too often businesses float in their own bubble of business – you may frequently not have a global awareness of what is happening outside of your niche. Being a member of the Chamber will keep you current. We have the latest information on what you need to know to satisfy the various stakeholders in your business. Did you know about the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan? Did you know that WSIB is proposing changes to legislation that may impact your business? We do and that is in part to our membership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce – see? Chamber membership – even the Chamber is a member of a chamber. Staying relevant helps everyone.
For those businesses who don’t think they need us – have you ever considered that other businesses may need you? We hear it all the time – new businesses are struggling. New businesses have a different set of needs from that which is established. New business needs help and guidance. Getting a business off the ground is only the start. To some, start up is a challenge. Others find it fun. But once it is up and running – now what? The customer side of business is one thing; the compliance and hands on part of running a business is another. Can you mentor a new business or do you still want to be top dog of an empire? Call it an act of kindness on your part; mentor and educate.
Succession planning is an issue many successful businesses face. It’s not a problem for big business, you simply retire and another takes your place. Oh sure, you might get a pension or shares if you’re lucky, but what if you are a sole proprietor or a small corporation? Do you really want to do this forever? Do you really want your idiot brother in law running your business? Think – the new guy nipping at your heels may one day be your partner or your successor. Being a member of the Chamber creates relationships. It also helps give back to the community. Your business will benefit from the networking aspect, but others may benefit from knowing you… Kind of gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling knowing you could make the difference to someone else’s life.
Sometimes not being a member is an economic choice for businesses. We get it – there are only so many ways to carve a dollar, but did you ever stop to think of the value you get in addition to the intangible benefits? We got gas discounts, a not for profit health benefits plan, member to member discounts, credit card processing and all kinds of advertising opportunities for you both paid and free. We’re working on office supplies and software to help you run your business more cost efficient. Who doesn’t want to save money, but in order to bring you discounts, we need to exist. Help support your Chamber even if you don’t need it – we need you. Ask not what we can do for you, ask what you can do for your community. Join or renew, because your business is our business.
Tottenham Beeton & District Chamber of Commerce Inc.