Many business owners join their local chamber of commerce because they recognize that their customers associate chamber affiliation with ethics, professionalism, and commitment to the community.

One study on consumer preferences found that 63% of consumers prefer to shop and do business with chamber members. So it is no surprise that business owners gladly pay membership dues and place the chamber logo on their websites and front doors.

But many of those businesses are not taking advantage of opportunities to increase sales and brand awareness. Yes, their chamber membership boosts their credibility in consumers' eyes, but a chamber membership potentially offers a lot more.

Here are five ways business owners can derive value from their chamber membership.

1. Get on the chamber's site

One of the very first challenges new business owners face is quickly spreading the word about their venture. Did you know that many chambers offer their members space on the chamber's website for a nominal fee or even free? Aligning your company with the chamber website is a strategic move that allows you to share in the large number of community visits it generates.

At the Monroeville Chamber of Commerce in Pennsylvania, membership includes your own profile page on the organization's website. Debbie Iszauk, membership services director, says, "Our members frequently use their online profile page on the chamber's website to give their customers a convenient point of reference to learn more about the services they offer. Members can post coupons, share company news, and communicate with our community at large through their profile page."

2. Let the chamber promote your news

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Bowman is the publisher of The Quarter Roll Financial Entertainment magazine. His goal is to take the confusion and fear out of managing money, and then make it fun and even entertaining. Reach him via mike@thequarterroll.com.