Posts tagged The Real Value of Joining a Local Chamber of Commerce

Will You Tell a Friend?

One of the best sources of new customers is referrals. They are pre-qualified by our existing customers to get something out of our services and are likely to already have a favorable view. It’s also the highest testament to how we are currently running our business. If we’re doing a good job, people tend to share their experience with their friends.

But sometimes our customers need a little encouragement, or simple reminding, to make that referral. Similarly, I hope that your membership experience with the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce has been a positive and rewarding one. If we’ve fulfilled our promise, I encourage you to tell your friends, colleagues and other contacts about the benefits of joining our organization.

I can’t believe that it’s been 17 years since I joined the Chamber. I’m proud of its growth and we are able to accomplish bigger and better goals every day because of the diversity and strength of the group. Along the way, I’ve met so many individuals who have inspired me, mentored me, or even did a simple favor that helped catapult my business, as well as help me grow as a professional. Everyday, I enjoy reconnecting with old colleagues, many of whom have become friends too, but also meeting new faces at the Chamber and drawing from their own fresh ideas.

We always refer to the passion of our members, and I urge you to remember that part of that passion is sharing the Chamber with others. Tell your contacts. If the Chamber grows, we also grow as members. More minds means more resources and power to tap into. We not only have a first rate-network representing a broad spectrum of industries, but a world-class community with economic vitality, social purpose and connected residents.

Miami Beach is truly a sophisticated city, running on a global scale. Within there is so much talent and perspectives that we could all learn from. As Chamber members, it is our duty to also help them in achieving their aspirations. So start spreading the word!

At your service,

Jason Loeb.


3 Steps to Making Great Business Connections

Here at the Chamber, we always talk about the power of relationships. Our team works hard to bring our membership events that create an ideal setting in which to make these connections. But in the end, it all comes down to one thing: your ability to network.

Networking is imperative to growing a business, yet it’s a daunting task for many. Some thrive within a crowded room… others shrink at the thought of facing so many strangers in one place. Successful networking doesn’t require a certain personality, but it does take a few key skills. Here are a few tips to help maximize your time at next Chamber event, or any networking function:

  • Genuinely get to know the person:  Have you ever returned from an event with a pile of business cards, but no real idea of any of the people behind them? The “speed dating” approach certainly gets you in front of a lot of people, but rarely results in qualified leads. Spend a little extra time with each person you meet. Talk to them about their aspirations for their business first and offer your assistance in meeting those goals. Once at ease, they’ll be more apt to want to hear about you. Then its your turn to shine and state your needs.
  • Search for commonality:  Wallflowers can’t expect the introductions to magically happen. Sure, it can be intimidating going up to someone you don’t know, so search for people you’re likely to have something share something with. It could be a conversation about tennis you just overhead or a article of clothing you admire. It gives you a good jumping point to spark the conversation, but also establishes commonality. People like and want to do business with others whom they relate to.
  • Get comfortable:  Yes, sometimes we have to step outside our comfort zone to make things happen, but you don’t want to be a complete outsider either. When RSVPing to networking events, think about the type of people and places you want to be around. After all, it is these contacts with whom we will hopefully be working with long-term. Sustainable relationships can’t be forced…If you can’t relate to the overall vibe of a networking event, chances are, you won’t feel comfortable with doing business with the people found there.

Networking is like a boomerang, help others and they’re more apt to help you. Perhaps you won’t meet as many people in a night (luckily, we have plenty of activities planned for you to capture time with hopefully all our members), but I assure you that these approaches will open avenues that are more effective and meaningful for your business.

At your service,

Jason Loeb

Chairman

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Statistics Show

In these hard economic times, I have heard many questions as to the value of joining a Chamber of Commerce.  It is a good thoughtful question that each business owner should ask before making any investment.  Membership is an investment after all.  

Overall, has membership been a direct impact on the bottom line?  I came upon a recent study by The Schapiro Group, Market St. entitled “The Real Value of Joining a Local Chamber of Commerce”, and there were some compelling statistics that support membership.  For instance, 59% of consumers think that being active in the local chamber of commerce is an effective business strategy.  It is 29% more effective for communicating to consumers that a company uses good business practices and 26% more effective for communicating that a business is reputable.  If a company shows that it is highly involved in its local chamber, consumers are 12% more likely to think that its products stack up better against its competition.
Is this why I became the Chairman of the Board?  I have to say that I am very invested in this community and feel strongly that through the chamber I have forged long lasting, solid relationships, both business and personal.  However, having participated at the chamber for many years now, I know that you get out of it what you put into it.  The more active, the more visible, therefore – the more visible, the more opportunities for your business to be the “buzz” with the local community.

The study shows that consumers are 44% more likely to think favorably of a small business who is a chamber member, and 63% more likely to purchase goods or services from the company in the future.  As you plan your business strategy, keep this study in mind and contact the Chamber to “Experience the Power of Membership”.

Jason Loeb is the Chairman of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce and owner of Sudsies Dry Cleaners.  For more information regarding the Chamber or for a copy of the full study, please contact 305.674.1300.

At your service,
Jason Loeb
Chairman, Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce.