Advocacy vs Information

As chambers, advocacy is the business we should be focused on for our members.

Based on a recent study titled Winning Strategies for Chamber Core Competencies Tool Kit 3.0 by the Western Association of Chamber Executives (W.A.C.E.), the following five areas were identified as core competencies for chambers of commerce:

  • Creating a strong local economy
  • Promoting the community
  • Providing networking opportunities to build business relationships
  • Representing the interests of business with government
  • Political action

Before you say it, I know, "if you've met one chamber, you've met one chamber." I believe that statement to be true to a point!

But as the title suggests, you should at least be in the advocacy business:

  • Lobbying
  • Endorsements
  • PAC's

Or, at least in the informational business on key legislative issues that will affect your small business members.

  • White Papers
  • Scorecards of legislators votes
  • Hold open forums

I hope you choose the proactive model and start advocating for your members and help them grow their business by looking after their interests before your legislative bodies (local, state, federal).

At the very least, if you choose informational you're at least informing your members of the issues and they can take appropriate action to act or protect their interests.

Depending on your chamber, pick one and embrace it!

For previous blog posts on advocacy go HERE and HERE.

Are You Still Running Programs That Lose Money?

If you are, stop!

Those are resources you could be spending on programs that make money, and could potentially make more money.

For a previous blog post on How To Stay Ahead of the Competition go HERE.

While it can be tough to drop programs that have a sentimental value, it's time to move on to bigger and better things.

Technology has made us change the way we communicate with our members.

Have you done a complete review of your program of work since this new technology has hit your chamber?

There's nothing wrong with an annual review of your program of work.

You may even consciously decide to keep a program that is losing money. But, you've made that decision for a reason and it's defensible if anyone asks why the chamber continues to do it.

Never forget to run your chamber like a business. Because if you don't, you run the risk of being out of business.

Your members should expect nothing less from you and their chamber!

For a previous blog post on program based budgeting go HERE.