Are all your members important? Are some more important than others?
- Networking opportunities
- Economic/community development
- Issue advocacy/lobbying
- Tourism/Community promotion
- Leadership training
- We help our members grow their business
It should be noted that what is relevant for one chamber could be completely different for another. That again lies the real question. What do we want to be known for? What is going to make us relevant? If you don’t know, it’s time for you to conduct a board retreat and find out.
There are internal and external forces that are forcing chambers to change the way they do business. The following are just an example of the issues facing chamber execs each year, and as you can see, many are out of our control.
- Budget cuts
- Staff cuts
- Doing more with less (doing away with or cutting back on services – 24 hours just became a 48 hour turnaround time – is that acceptable)
- Economy (your members have fewer dollars)
- Internet (free or pay as you go)
- Competition (bookstores, state & regional chambers, local chambers, our members)
It’s important to revisit your value prop on a regular basis. You know the equation, Benefits – costs = value. The challenge is to communicate that value effectively to your membership, non-members and community alike.