Last year I was elected vice president of the American
Society of Business Publication Editors–Chicago Chapter. Since then I
have learned just how imperative it is to be part of an organization that
promotes your industry and teaches you how to excel at your job. This has made
me an advocate for such organizations. As a member of the Water Quality
Association, I also get a first-hand look at how the water purification
industry can capitalize from its associations.
For some people the membership may serve a great duty as
being an extra line on a resume. However, for many others, they discover a much
more fulfilling and enriching service that they apply each day in their jobs,
and often it is what launches them ahead of the competitor across town.
Some of the benefits that I receive from memberships in my
organizations include advice for career and business strategies; current
information on events, legislation and other timely topics that affect my
business; networking opportunities with peers and competitors; solutions for
problems; and further education. It also is an excellent chance to get many
third-party views about a particular issue or question. In addition, your
activity in these organizations displays your true interest in promoting and
maintaining your industry and its livelihood to consumers, management, peers
and even government officials.
Most often the choice is obvious, join all that you can, but
in times of a slowed economy, professionals tend to sweep such expenses as
trade shows, seminars and other travel as well as membership expenses under the
carpet. In such times, it is quite the opposite that should happen in order to
promote ourselves to current markets and reach out to new ones. Our trusted
associations could be the key to getting our businesses back into full swing.
I advise you to be proactive. Contact your
associations—local, state, regional and national. Find out what they
offer and how they can help you and your business. Make a list of what
interests you and what will help you turn a profit. Then, take advantage of
those opportunities. I think it is safe to say that each of these organizations
welcomes input from its members. So, don’t be afraid to tell them what
else they can be doing for you.
If you have been wondering why you or your employees should
begin your membership and how to capitalize on such an endeavor, give the
headquarters or a member you know a call and get those questions answered. It
could just be the first step to strengthening your business.
Wendi Hope King