By: Michael Davis
To start with full disclosure, I am a former business association president and a former chamber of commerce ambassador. Having said that, let me explain why I wrote about this topic. I was at a business event when I overheard an individual suggesting to a business owner that they should join one of the area business associations. The response from the business owner was short and to the point, “No thanks, they only do cleanups of medians and highway ramps. I am an entrepreneur and I don’t have the time for that.”
My first business lesson from one of my early mentors was “Don’t die alone.” The wisdom that my mentor shared was don’t let pride and ego prevent you from seeking assistance or help (the earlier the better). Which helped me to discover the meaning behind the saying ‘pride cometh before the fall.’ Understanding the negative impact of pride on business decision making is a crucial lesson to learn. With ongoing improvement in mind, business owners must be a part of networks that infuse them with new ideas, knowledge, and industry trends.
When I started my own business, I asked my fellow entrepreneur for advice. He told me “to join a business group to surround myself with like-minded individuals and build a network for sharing ideas, expertise, and experiences.
These groups will prove valuable because you can increase credibility, create partnerships with others who understand
your business and learn how to improve to get ahead.”
Both business associations and chambers bring together business owners in a specific area to promote commerce and protect member and community interests. Typically, associations are smaller than chambers where associations are organized based upon a neighborhood, area, or city, while chambers are organized by a city, county, or region. The business associations and chambers activities may include monthly meetings, member marketing, networking, educational seminars, conferences, political events, and charitable initiatives.
The key advantages of business associations and chambers include:
* Increased expertise
* Professional development
* Increased business savvy
* Insight into industry trends
* Networking development
* Relationship development
* Political engagement
In South Fulton County Georgia, the business associations and chambers of commerce are important stakeholders in the business ecosystem that contribute to the health and vitality of the business members and the quality of life for the citizens of South Fulton County.
I challenge business owners, business leaders, and entrepreneurs to join your local business association and chamber of commerce. Take advantage of the opportunities that exist and actively participate in the organization meetings, training, and events. The time and financial invested in memberships in the business organizations and chambers of commerce is an investment in the long term growth and vitality of your business.
The business associations and geographic chambers of commerce in South Fulton County Georgia are the following:
* Camp Creek Business Association
* Cascade Business and Merchants Association
* Chattahoochee Hills Business Association
* College Park Main Street Association
* East Point Main Street Association
* Hapeville Main Street Association
* Old National Merchants Association
Chamber of Commerce
* ATL Airport Chamber of Commerce
* South Fulton Chamber of Commerce