Your Partner in Commerce

Your Partner in Commerce
Do you ever wish you had a powerful business partner, one that could offer advice and counsel, as well as work to improve the local business climate? Well, you just might have access to one.

An often untapped resource for graphic design firms and their clients is the local chamber of commerce. Chambers of commerce offer a variety of services for their members, such as a directory of local businesses, monthly networking events and access to discounted rates on health insurance to name just a few.

A chamber of commerce is an organization, typically at the state or county level, whose primary purpose is to improve the business environment within their given geography. The missions of local chambers of commerce include lobbying local or state governments on behalf of local businesses as well as offering its members
a range of business services. Companies and sole proprietorships must become members of their chamber before they can avail themselves of these services, but, as they say, “membership has its privileges.”

Not all chambers offer the same services, but graphic artists might be able to take advantage of their chamber to promote their and their clients’ businesses. Your local chamber of commerce might offer you any or all of the following:

• A listing in the local chamber’s directory of members (in print, online or both) with contact information and primary business category. Web directories might also include links to members’ own sites.

• A monthly newsletter highlighting chamber events and activities as well as notable news about member companies. If your firm has landed a major account, completed an important campaign, won an award or accomplished some other achievement, you can highlight this to other local businesses.

• Chamber members might bundle promotional flyers with the chamber’s local newsletter mailing. Chamber Web sites and local directories might also offer display advertising and sponsorship opportunities.

• Frequent networking events, such as breakfasts, luncheons or cocktail mixers are a good way to “press the flesh” with other chamber members and might also offer a place to leave brochures or other promotional materials.

There are fees involved with most of these services, but many businesses have found that they pay for themselves in increased visibility in the community and in increased business. In addition to these promotional activities, chambers of commerce also offer small business services, such as one-on-one counseling, human resources assistance, programs to help reduce energy costs and many more. Chamber members might also offer discounts to other members, allowing businesses to save on a wide variety of products and services.

Your own chamber of commerce’s Web site can detail all the services that are available to you.  Remember, a good chamber of commerce is like having a powerful business partner. Be sure to take advantage of all the things that this partnership can do for you and your business.


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