January 22, 2018
As the old saying goes, there's strength in numbers. Throughout history, groups have come together to achieve benefits far greater than anything they'd be able to accomplish solo. Think about unions in factories or co-ops in housing communities; each of these elements brings together like-minded individuals so they can enjoy the benefits of a larger presence. In the end, the more people who come together, the more possibilities exist on the other end of the spectrum.
If you're the leader of an organization that's looking to branch out and gain greater benefits in this New Year, take a look at a few of our favorite reasons you should become a member of an association:
The greatest leaders learn from others. Networking is an essential ingredient for successful businesses, but it's not always easy to gain access to other like-minded professionals. So, where do you start? When you join an association, you're instantly part of a team that's greater than yourself. In this environment, you can bounce ideas off other entrepreneurs, learn what's worked for others, and ask for advice from those who have already been there. Associations are the primary way people can become involved in face-to-face networking with people who share similar professional interests.
How do you learn to be a better version of yourself if you're stuck in a box? When you become a member of an association, you'll learn more than you ever imagined about ways to reach out to the community.
Sure, search engines can provide you with a certain starting point for whatever industry questions may be lingering, but there's nothing like having access to the movers and shakers who actually make things happen. Networking isn't just about learning from others; it's about building your brand such that it becomes a reputable resource other leaders want to talk to their own followers about. When you're part of an association, you have these elements within arm's reach.
When those tenacious days of low numbers and missed deadlines begin to rain down on you, it can be hard to keep your head up. Remember, others have been there, too. As a member of an association, you can go into each day knowing you're not alone. You'll have insights, resources, case studies, and white papers available at your disposal. When you need a pick-me-up, head to the place where people know what you're going through.
In an association, you're all in it together. You have different goals and cater to different audiences, but in the end, you're all trying to run the best organization you possibly can.
Most professional and trade associations provide a vast amount of education and training programs. Along with educational tools, your association will hold workshops, trainings and conferences in order to give you the opportunity to stay up-to-date and knowledgeable about new trends in your industry. Many associations also offer access to certifications or licensing programs, which offer an excellent opportunity to expand your skill set, qualifications and marketability.
Associations are widely known for making an impact when it comes supporting local community efforts. Numerous organizations allow their members to speak or teach at charitable organizations, or they coordinate large group efforts with local food banks or animal shelters. Paying it forward and helping those less fortunate will in turn give you motivation in both your personal life and business life.