You, me and business: Do you take advantage of what your chamber offers?

Dana Dittmar

By DANA DITTMAR

CEO, SCC Chamber

Is this a typical work day for you? You get in a little early and grab a cup of coffee. You look over your calendar and to-do list to make sure there’s nothing surprising on there.  You check your emails and respond to one or two, and settle in to run a report or schedule some sales calls.

At some point during the day, a thought works its way into the back of your mind: This is a slow day.  The phones are not ringing enough, and customers are not sticking their fingers into your better mousetrap.  Business is tapering off over the summer, and you have payroll to make next week.  The electric bill is due, the economy is in the garbage and you might have to cancel your cleaning service.

Without thinking about it, you begin to browse the Sun City Center Chamber of Commerce website and flip through photos of recent chamber events: The assisted living had a nice turnout at the business after-hours; the food looked fantastic at the golf tournament; hey, the ribbon-cutting for the new memorial park in Wimauma was huge. The Fall Expo is coming up before you know it.

What do these people know that I don’t know?

So you take a pen and jot down a reminder for the next networking event. Then you look at your calendar and realize you don’t have any appointments scheduled for the third Thursday of the month and jot another note to RSVP for the membership luncheon. Now your mind starts to shift into a higher gear.

What else can I do to meet other business people and promote my product line and services? Maybe I need to hold a grand-reopening,  or put a banner ad on the chamber website.  Oh, and I need to reserve a booth at the expo… I hope all the good ones aren’t taken.

Flash forward a month.  You went to the free Wednesday Exchange Networking lunch and the monthly membership luncheon. You handed out a number of cards at the business card exchange and even provided a door prize. Your Rolodex is full of other business cards you collected from all the companies you followed up with to see if you could be of benefit to them. Several businesses were interested in how you could save them money with the features of your services. One thing you didn’t expect — you were asked to serve on a volunteer committee that will give you lots of exposure and put you in contact with some great prospective customers.

So you arrive to work a little early and pour yourself a cup of coffee. You look at your calendar and it’s jam-packed with appointments.  You scan your emails and there’s one from another business owner who needs you to call them right away.  You’re smiling, because you’re excited about all of the opportunities out there.

Do you take advantage of all the chamber offers you and your business? Give it a try. You’ll be surprised how fun it is to meet other business owners and learn new marketing techniques. You get a great meal at the luncheon and maybe even win one of the door prizes.  This is how business is done. It’s all here for you. So pick up your pen and your calendar and let’s get to work.

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