Joining a Trade Association can help you boost business
When starting out, new start-ups or small business owners are often encouraged to join trade associations, network with other members and protect their interests.
Benefits of association membership are numerous and typically include: opportunities to preside in leadership roles within associations; subscriptions to newsletters and magazines; access to seminars, conferences and association events; and access to members-only offers, among many others, depending on the association and your particular membership within the association. Membership in associations shows a business’ initiative, its engagement in a particular trade and its commitment to staying abreast of current developments in the market.
The specific benefits provided by each trade association may differ, but one that is generally the same across all trade associations is the ability to enhance credibility in the eyes of the consumer. Membership of a well-established association adds credibility to a new business, and this is due to the fact that these trade associations will usually implement strict quality standards and codes of practice for membership. The recognised mark of an association may increase consumers’ confidence , helping you win more work.
Workshops, meet-and-greets, newsletters, blogs, and forums create opportunities to share those best practices and fresh ideas. Many associations conduct market research and analysis on their specific industries. White papers and research reports can offer great insights and have helped me stay ahead of others. By pooling resources from members, these associations can provide materials that benefit everyone in the group. Many associations work to improve knowledge and technical expertise of members, in order to improve standards of practice throughout the industry. This often means that members can take part in industry-relevant training, or submit employees for training at discounted rates. There are also many associations that have their own certification schemes, which may only be accessible to members.
Being a member can mean gaining access to vital support from other more experienced members, as well as business or legal advice that it could prove costly or be more difficult to access elsewhere. Additionally, by networking, small-business owners may spot emerging trends, which could impact their bottom lines. Trade associations bring competitors together, turning one small voice into a persuasive one. This can be particularly helpful when independent businesses need to mobilise quickly, such as when facing proposed political initiatives that threaten the industry. Perhaps one of the most overlooked benefits of a trade association is the advocacy. Networking opportunities and the chance to influence legislation are two of the greatest benefits of association membership.
Food Trade Affairs can recommend or represent you with similar companies from around the country/ globe to expand the reach of some of your businesses within a Trade Association. Associations offer a bridge to communicate with competitors in a collaborative environment.