I know a lot of business people. If that was not the case, I’d have some explaining to do. Some of these business people I see at our Chamber programs and events and some I see at the grocery store. Next to the frustration of recognizing that not all businesses are willing to join their local chamber of commerce is the hard reality that nearly half of those who do join, seldom take advantage of the many benefits and opportunities that membership affords.
Rather than cultivate a miserable disposition, which I’m postponing until retirement, I’m back on the warpath to explain just exactly how business success is intrinsically tied to the networking, education and professional development that are the bread-and-butter of organizations like ours.
I have come to understand the impediments to greater participation. For small businesses in particular, there’s little time available to do anything beyond handling the normal duties that make it possible to keep the lights on. Larger businesses have so many groups and associations competing for their time (and their dollars), that it’s hard to accommodate everyone.
So on goes my salesman hat. Please do your best to treat everything I say as if it’s coming from someone with complete objectivity. Get ready to be dazzled as I describe all the incredible things that are taking place within the remainder of May that will take your business to a place where other businesses can only hope to go.
Want to hear about how higher education is helping to prepare young people for the future workforce? The Chamber’s Breakfast Club on May 10th features Dr. Jim Troha, President of Juniata College as keynote speaker. Troha’s presentation will provide insight into how you as an employer can access the best and the brightest before they begin to take their talents elsewhere.
Feel awkward at social events where networking opportunities exist? The Chamber’s WE-LEaD (Women Encouraging: Leadership, Education and Development) Committee is hosting an Etiquette Luncheon on May 15th. Later that same day, the Young Professionals of Blair County, another Chamber program, will help you learn what you need to know about LinkedIn. They’ll even take your photo. If your social media skills aren’t what they need to be, it may be wise to check this out.
The very next day, the Chamber’s Small Business Partners roll-out the second part of a two-part series on brand building. Colleen Devorris of BrandDemon will help you better understand the importance of your brand and what it’s saying to your clients and customers. If you like who you are and what you’re doing, show-up anyway. It won’t be long until your business will need a facelift.
Remember that future workforce presentation from earlier in the month? On May 22nd, you’ll have a chance to learn about the importance of impacting the workforce of the distant future which, by the way, will be knocking at your door before you know it. The Early Childhood Summit, put together by the Chamber’s BASICS Subcommittee on Early Childhood Education, will take place at the Blair County Convention Center. It will be an eye-opening event and you’ll be interested to hear why the business community is an essential component of the effort to get our young people off to a great start.
Tired yet? We’re just beginning. The day following the Early Childhood Summit is the Home Run for Safety, scheduled at Peoples Natural Gas Field. You know how important safety is in protecting your employees and your property. This event will show you hands-on examples of ways to make certain that you leave nothing to chance in how you preserve the things most important to you.
After a few days of recuperation, we take you to Homewood Retirement Community for a “Business Before Hours” event so that you can witness some of the significant things that local businesses are doing to promote their services and build a stronger economic base. They may also make you consume a stack of bananas foster French toast for attending. That’s the price you sometimes pay for utilizing your Chamber Membership.
Are you comfortable with your understanding of the new federal tax law that is now in effect? On May 31st, you’ll have an opportunity to hear from a local tax law expert as well as a representative from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at a seminar specifically for the business community. And you can end the day, as well as the month, with a Business After Hours at the Comfort Inn in Duncansville.
See what you’ve been missing? We’d love to help you find a way to make your investment in Chamber Membership as worthwhile as possible. Start slowly. We’ll help you catch-up.