Everyone is looking to grow in the beginning of the year. Individuals make New Year’s resolutions and try to better themselves in whatever way they choose. Businesses are no different! Many of our local small businesses will be taking stock of what they can do to create growth for the next year. What better place to start than at the Chamber of Commerce!? To help start your questioning for the beginning of the year, here are some questions you can ask your Chamber staff to help improve and grow your business:
- Do you have a Leadership Program? Our Chamber has a program called Leadership EXCEL! This experience based training program is designed to give each participant training in leadership skills and increase knowledge of the community and state.
- What assistance can you give me in learning about social media? Digital marketing has become one of the most important ways of getting your name out there for customers to see. We recognize this, and often host seminars and luncheons where the topic is various digital marketing skills. We recently had a Business Over Breakfast event which highlighted those particular challenges. Always check out our event calendar for opportunities to learn more!
- Have you seen my business challenge before? Our Chamber is excited to partner with the Small Business Development Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette to offer free business advising. The SBDC itself offers a variety of free business consulting, but for those business owners who don’t have the time to get to their office, we try to host an SBDC advisor on the fourth Tuesday of every month, where business owners can schedule an appointment for free, regardless of Chamber membership!
- What networking activities do you host? We mentioned above that we host Business Over Breakfast, which is one of our most popular networking events. We also have the Acadia Quarterly Luncheon as well as Business After Hours, with a larger Holiday Business After Hours event near the end of the year! In addition to these events we host, we try to include other networking events done by other organizations (virtual and in-person) on our event calendar!
- How can I get more involved? The first step in getting involved is to attend our various events! Get to know the various Chamber members and the variety of business services they entail. From there, sponsorships for those events can be the next step. You could eventually try to get onto our Board of Directors! There truly are numerous ways that the Chamber can offer you to become more involved with us and in the community.
- Do you have an online directory? Our directory can be found on our website under Member Directory, and it has all our members organized by type of business they are. Each individual entry lists the location, website, phone number, Facebook page (if possible), and other relevant information for the particular business. This makes it much easier to find information about all our members!
- Can you explain the referral process? Chambers are always asked for referrals. The Chamber provides referrals in-person, over the phone, through the directory, and via email. Referrals are recorded to your business profile, and that information can be provided to you by request. Simply provide your most up-to-date marketing materials so staff can answer potential customer questions such as your operating hours, and the staff will do their best to direct customers with the correct information.
- Am I in the right membership tier? The Chamber has tiered investor pricing. It’s important you sit down with the Chamber Staff periodically in order to make sure you’re in the membership tier that is most effective for your business and what you want to accomplish. By checking in, you can make sure you are utilizing all of the benefits of your membership to include digital marketing and networking opportunities. This can save you money and time from seeking those services on your own. When you map out your business goals for the year, it’s important you communicate with your chamber to see if a new tier might fit your goals better.
- What activities can I invite my employees to? Most business owners don’t realize that Chamber benefits extend to their employees. These benefits can be very valuable in the eyes of your team. For instance, you can offer professional development and learning opportunities through the Chamber as perks of employment.
- Can I produce content for you on a topic I know a lot about? Our Chamber needs content just like your business does. Feel free to contact the Chamber staff and ask them about what their needs are. If you have knowledge that could benefit other business owners, they may just be looking for your expertise.
- Can I speak at one of your events? Just like the content requirements above, the Chamber may need knowledgeable professionals to speak in a wide variety of events. But remember to go into any sort of opportunity like this as a resource for others, not someone pushing their business.
- What can I do for you? People do business with those they know, like, and trust. Asking the Chamber how you can be of assistance may open doors to you and expose opportunities that you hadn’t thought of. Chambers represent and advocate for all businesses in the community, but you never know what they may need help with. Being at the right place at the right time can be very advantageous to you personally and to your business.
Remember-the Chamber is here for YOU, and we want to answer questions you have about us and the benefits we provide our members. Feel free to ask us these questions by email, phone, or in person! We hope to hear from you soon!