Archive for the ‘Networking’ Category

Joining a chamber of commerce is a great way to market your business!

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Chief among the myriad challenges faced in business today is finding the time to step out from behind the electronic curtain to establish both your professional relationships and your credibility.  In addition, you need to find a pool of potential clients or customers to whom you not only can market your product or service, but who can refer you to others within their networks with similar needs and for whom you can be called upon for professional advice in whatever your field of expertise and interest.

Impossible, you say?  Maybe not—that is, if you’re willing to give joining a chamber of commerce a chance.  Yes, chambers have been around for a long while, so they’re definitely not flavor-of-the-month marketing.  What they are, however, is tried and true—an excellent way to build long-term relationships with fellow member businesses and their representatives who share a similar constituency or geography.

But how, you ask?  A good starting point is to visit your local chamber of commerce, whatever it may be—chances are, the more conveniently located it is to your place of business the more effectively you will utilize the accompanying membership benefits that it offers.  Visit with the president or staff to make sure that they know who you are, what you do, and how they might best promote you to their membership.  Ask to try out a networking- or speaker- oriented event to get a feel for the group’s makeup and your own comfort level before joining—you can always move on to another group if you find one that feels better to you.

For a small- to medium -size business, chamber of commerce membership fees of a few hundred dollars a year at first may seem like a very big financial investment.  Nevertheless, it’s important to keep in mind that, spread out over a 12-month period, these fees really break down into a manageable—and reasonable—monthly marketing expense.

Next time:  How chamber of commerce sponsorships and committee work go to work for your business 

Blogger Brian Ditto is the Director of Real Estate Development and Leasing for NI Business Park Leasing, the central Maryland based commercial real estate owner of both the Northwest Business Center in Owings Mills and the Carroll County Commerce Center in Westminster (  The company is a member of the Reisterstown-Owings Mills-Glyndon Chamber of Commerce—where Ditto served as executive director from 2000-2012—as well as both the Carroll County and Pikesville chambers.  He may be reached at or 410-951-2087.