If you just opened a business in your favorite neighborhood and completed the paperwork, it’s time to get organized and think about all the ways you can create a solid marketing strategy. Working with your local chamber of commerce should definitely be on your list as one of the things you can do to network with like-minded people, get more potential clients, and discover the best form of support in your journey to growth.
By definition, a local chamber of commerce is an organization that exists to help promote a local business community. In other words, this organization is local for businesses in the area, and its main purpose is to bring together the professionals in town and encourage them to share their experiences, support and learn from each other. Similar to a business network but set up locally, a chamber of commerce is designed to help business owners in a formal environment.
There are plenty of advantages to joining a local chamber of commerce. You can get a publicity boost, discover plenty of networking opportunities, get freebies and discounts as well as open up to a larger target audience. The chamber of commerce can support you online, too, which is certainly some free publicity and positive brand awareness in your region.
Additionally, each chamber of commerce has a couple of brand objectives that are mostly oriented to improving a community’s economy and the quality of life. These include:
Among the other advantages, we can also note that millions of businesses nowadays actively participate in events created by such chambers of commerce, and most of them benefit from the fact that they are recognized locally and can get more consumers to shop with them. Joining a chamber of commerce is a great way to get started with a new business, and working with it is recommended for becoming known in the community.
From invitations to local events to increasing your business exposure, a chamber of commerce offers great networking opportunities and a chance for every business to easily get found locally and online. You can even participate in seasonal campaigns and enjoy a variety of discounts as a member of the chamber – whether it’s in other member businesses or improved banking accounts at local financial institutions.
Plenty of studies show that consumers link chamber of commerce membership with business trustworthiness – one study confirmed this and showed that consumers are 68% more likely to buy from a local business that is a member of a chamber of commerce. Credibility is important and benefits every business owner. For many, being able to establish credibility early on makes the difference between building a successful business and being out of business in just a few years.
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We all know that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many companies across different regions and industries in many different ways. While many employees and front line workers have continued their work in physical settings, there are still some people that have been working from home.
How To Create A Resilient Workforce?
In times when employee absenteeism in the workplace is high due to the pandemic, many people are likely to experience emotional distress. Below are some of the best ways you can empower your workforce.
Self-care is a vital aspect in the workplace, and there are plenty of ways to encourage it. For instance, you can give away some vacation time without the punishment in the form of more work or special projects assigned to employees who are constantly available.
Document your expectations for “disconnect behavior.” This will help you reduce burnout and prove to your employees that they don’t need to be “always online.” Lastly, offer wellness programs that promote self-care. For instance, a yoga class during lunch, meditation tools after work or an online workout session can do wonders for their overall health.
Communicate With People
Communication is important, and sometimes, it must come in the one-on-one form. Even though it might take some time, it is the first step to understanding what your employees need. Some of the questions you can ask yourself are: What are my employees’ personal and professional concerns? How did COVID-19 impact most of their work and environment? Are they caretakers, do they have elderly relatives, or ill family members? Have they lost someone in the pandemic? Do they have specific workplace safety concerns, or concerns getting to and from work? What do they truly need to feel supported?
Answering these questions can give you a better idea on your employees’ needs and what it takes to properly address them.
Provide Mental Health Support
The number of people with mental health issues has increased during the past year. The direct impact of the pandemic has to do a lot with that, inducing a certain brain fog or triggering issues such as depression, anxiety, or OCD behaviours.
If you have a mental health coverage plan in place, you should do everything to promote it. Let your employees know about it and what it covers. Utilizing mental health services should be anonymous and confidential – but if you don’t provide coverage, try to offer alternatives or low-cost mental health services.
Be There For Them
Employees love appreciation. You should do everything you can to inform them of their successes or new/modified work policies. In this manner, you can celebrate their wins, identify their new or potential career paths, address all workspace changes, and give them a chance to understand all of the policies you have in place, designed for their own well being.
There are millions of workers that are still on job retention schemes, as well as some that are unemployed or underemployed. For many, the financial situation has weakened, and the new virus variants still impose restrictions on economic activity. That is why it is important to be there for each employee and continue supporting their families.
Looking beyond all of this chaos and adapting to the current situation is the only way to grow your business and succeed. Even if you need to get back to basics, do that diligently and find new ways to work efficiently.