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Why Join

Four Primary Benefits Trade Associations Have To Offer

excerpt from “Trade Associations, Are They for You?”, by Alan J. Zell

The first benefit is at the local level. Rather than thinking that competitors will discover “our/my secret formula,” a member will learn that others have similar attitudes and problems. An association acts as a forum to bring people together. The purpose is to raise the level of expertise and quality of service for the good of the industry and, more important, for the good of each business’s customers and clients. In addition, by keeping one’s eyes and ears open one will find that there is much useful information floating around. When talking and meeting with one’s competitors, “listening between the lines” is a very important skill to nurture. 

The second benefit comes from attending regional and national meetings. Here one can talk about business problems without the fear of letting secrets out of the bag. In some cases, successful business people set regularly scheduled discussions with their counterparts from other cities to discuss problems and ideas without hurting their local advantages. Because there is no threat to one’s business, each is more open to talk about their successes and failures. 

The third benefit associations offer business is by acting as a watchdog over legislative and regulatory bodies that make laws and rules that could be detrimental to their industry. Most associations have taken on the role of being the eyes and ears of its members. 

The fourth benefit businesses derive from their associations happens when the association disseminates pertinent industry information. Most associations have newsletters that keep their membership up-to-date on the latest methods, solutions to problems, products, and services. 

Belonging to trade or professional organizations is as important to a business as developing products and services for their clients and customers. The money invested in the inventory of trade and professional organization memberships can return much more than the annual investment of dues.

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