Remember that saying, “If you want to go quickly, go alone, if you want to go far, go together”. An individual is likely to get a richer and more fulfilling experience at whatever he or she does if joined together with others of the same mind, this is also applicable to businesses.
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According to recent research and publication, over 85 percent of businesses that fail are not members of a trade association. Research has shown that there are a lot of benefits inherent in being part of business associations. There are quite a number of them, they have a wide range and diverse in all countries.
In some countries, the main categories are professional and trade associations. It is good to look for relevant ones, be active, and leverage the loads of opportunities and benefits they offer.
Business associations have great testimonials of benefits to their members in several support areas including, but not limited to access to funding, access to market, networking, access to statistics, planning support, disaster relief, knowledge, advocacy, and credibility enhancement.
What Are Business Associations?
Business associations are organisations that bring together business owners from a specific area. They range from national associations to those that encompass businesses in individual states, counties, cities or neighbourhoods. In the context of a focus on businesses and business owners, they have the primary objective of helping existing businesses to grow locally, expand into new markets and remain competitive in an increasingly complex and evolving global marketplace. In addition, they work with entrepreneurs and start-ups to assist them in realising their dreams of owning a business.
Whatever the scope, a business association can provide a number of benefits to business owners who elect to pay dues and participate as members. These benefits include:
A business association provides its members with opportunities to network and share information and resources. While some businesses that belong to an association are likely to be competitors, they still share certain needs and preferences. In other cases, association members can help one another directly with referrals for business development and support services such as accounting, building maintenance, recruiting staff and marketing. Joining a business association provides a new business owner with directory and contact information for other local businesses, speeding up the process of integrating into the community amongst others.
Access To Opportunities And Resources
Membership in a small business association provides you exposure to other businesses coalitions and organisations that can help your business succeed. For example, you can learn about educational seminars covering a variety of topics, including business financing, alternative funding, inbound and outbound marketing, harnessing social media, etc.
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Entrepreneurs and small business owners should schedule a time to go to their small business association to learn more about the organisation and how they can help their enterprise gain more exposure, create jobs and contribute to the growth of the local economy.
For a business owner, the opportunity to participate in a business association can be as much of a personal consideration as a business decision. Associations hold meetings and special events for their members, giving them chances to meet with their peers and enjoy the company of fellow entrepreneurs. Participation in a business association may also serve as a social expectation in a community where small business owners know one another through work as well as outside of it.
Improved Business Climate
The result of participating in a business association, whatever immediate benefits it provides, should be an improvement in one’s business climate. As business owners get to know one another, they find ways to share resources, unite on important issues and develop new tools for securing their profitability in the community and creating an atmosphere that encourages competition and attracts customers. With effective leadership and adequate participation, a business association can make it easier for its members to make money and also enjoy the process.
Advocacy And Collective Voice For Small Business Owners
With global corporations and national corporations becoming increasingly stronger, it helps small business owners to look out for their efforts by standing together. Joining a business association ensures that you have an advocate for your business and your voice. The business association does all the work while you continue to focus on your operations.
What To Do: Go For It
Remember to check available opportunities online, discuss with your business association, relevant government agencies of business development consultants, to explore possible and available opportunities.
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