As contractors, there’s always more work in front of us than we can begin to keep up with.
Managing projects, people, and deadlines is plenty, but we can’t ignore other vitals such as updated regulations, new technologies, industry trends, and best-practices. There’s so much information out there (helpful stuff too), but who has the time to go digging it up?
No one wants to add one more thing to the list, but maybe we could save ourselves a lot of time and headache by jumping on board with a known trade or industry association.
As with most all things, there are pros and cons to a membership with a trade association. Here, I saved you some time and made a list:
Tried and True Advice
The forefathers of your industry have moved into mentoring roles and many are offering advice through trade associations. Being a member means you have access to their solutions that work based on experience, and you privy to their advice on how to run a healthy and successful business. Network, idea share, and build important business relationships that will assist you immediately and down the road.
Quite the opposite, but equally beneficial, is the new industry information you gain. With this knowledge, you can be an early adopter or watch and gain feedback from fellow industry members as they test out what’s new.
Trade associations are committed to keeping their members up to date with policy, legislation, compliance, and regulatory changes. Besides the benefit of offering this knowledge the organization as a whole bands together as a louder voice when a protesting response is needed.
Education and Training
Classes, online resources, trade shows, and coaching experts are just a few of the options to educate you and your entire company to be the very best in your industry. Choose from topics like finding more leads, closing sales, fast-track recruiting, continuous improvement, and long-term success. Some associations even offer licensing and certification courses.
Product Research and Recommendations
A ton of time and money is sunk into product development and research, save yourself some of both and enjoy timely updates from your trade association. Associations specific to your trade will introduce you to the newest technologies and leading-edge ideas as they become available.
Adding an association membership next to your company name can instantly build your credibility and professionalism. It says you’re active in your industry and that you keep up with best practices and awareness of market conditions.
Most if not all industry associations offer some type of forum for members to engage, ask questions, and offer answers. It’s good to remember – the answers found on forums are from people, just like you and me. Without intending to, there could be advice shared that is not correct or helpful. Resist the urge to follow blindly and do some fact-checking on your end before making any major adjustments.
Trade associations membership fees can be a huge expense. How do you know if the membership fee is worth the cost? A great place to start is asking yourself what benefits you’re looking for and is now the right time for your company to take on a new expense. Keep in mind an individual trade association membership fee are much cheaper than the professional society’s membership fee – at that point, we are talking thousands of dollars.
Trade associations offer an immense amount of information and resources. You’ll need to pace yourself and plan accordingly.
Not All Associations are Equal
Depending on your industry, there may be quite a few to choose from. Start with a good ol’ internet search, read the reviews, and ask around. You can also check in with your CRM or other project management software/applications and they may have some great recommendations. Maybe that’s what you’re doing here?!
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See all the associations CompanyCam is a member of or works directly with.