If your business is seasonal, it probably feels a lot like feast or famine. You may love your seasonal crowds but hate the fear you won’t last long enough to see your next one. Seasonal businesses or businesses in towns with a seasonal draw struggle with year-round consistent revenue. While you might not ever achieve revenue equality throughout every month, a chamber membership can help you see a little steadier monthly income. Here’s how:
1. A Chamber Is Often the First Place Visitors StopMany visitors are conditioned to stop in at the chamber or the visitor’s bureau for information. While a chamber may answer questions about all businesses, it gives preference to its members. Being a chamber member can cause you to make the short list when the chamber staff are asked to give recommendations.
2. They Host Cash MobsChambers often host cash mobs for members. A cash mob is an event where the chamber invites people to visit a business on a pre-arranged day. Those patrons agree to spend a set amount of money (or more) at the business. Sometimes the event takes the shape of a lunch mob for a restaurant.
The chamber always informs the business ahead of time and some business owner choose to offer specials for the mob. They’re a lot of fun, particularly when the location is kept secret until a few days or even hours before the event. It’s a terrific way to get people to try a business or to help a business that is struggling in the off season.
3. They Provide Learning OpportunitiesIf you can’t balance out the monthly revenue, you can use your quieter times for additional learning that will improve your business. One of the first places you should look is your local chamber. They provide inexpensive (and sometimes free) learning for members on topics of interest, anything from social media to email marketing.
Learning more about these things can help you balance out your sales by bringing in more customers or expanding outside of your area. A ski town business may not make much in sales in May but if they can sell their products outside of the town through the Internet and digital marketing, they can flatten out those dips in revenue.
4. The Chamber Markets Year-RoundThe chamber is working to bring tourists to your area and improve the economy year-round not just in your high seasons. They are often assisting local businesses to find new angles to approach shoppers and visitors. Being a member of the chamber not only gets you referrals and featured in their business directories and lists but it also gives you a say in the direction they are taking. Your business voice can be heard as a member of the chamber.
5. They Attract IndustryChambers also work hard with economic development partners to bring large businesses to town. This means more jobs and skilled labor. Both things could equate to more business for you during the off season. When the number of inhabitants of your town increases, the number of potential customers for your business does too.
It can be difficult to make it through the slow seasons if you’re a seasonal business or a town with a busy season. Joining the chamber can provide you with many opportunities to help level out those revenue valleys. A chamber membership is a small price to pay to know it will help your business make it through another season.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and the Event Manager Blog.
She’s a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.