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June 12, 2017    
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It's Time For Spring Cleaning

Sometimes the best thing to do is what you least want to do.   Case in point . . . cleaning up your membership database.

Nobody wants to admit that their Chamber actually has even fewer members than advertised, especially when it means enduring heart-to-heart internal discussions about the revised numbers and how to move forward.   However, there are real benefits to dealing with accurate numbers.

For example, if you go through the cleanup process, you will generate a valuable opportunity to engage all of your team (staff and board) in ...
    [a] deciding the membership growth strategy for your Chamber and
    [b] setting accountable expectations for team member participation and engagement.

Most importantly, with real numbers you will be able to measure real progress.   (It's ridiculous to discuss a membership retention rate based on an incorrect total number of members!)

So . . . it may be June but there's still time to do some spring cleaning.
    - Remove the members you know are not going to pay their past dues.
            (You can still try to collect their past dues.)
    - Exclude any courtesy/complimentary memberships from the total.
    - Exclude your individual members from the total.
The more honest you are with the numbers the more likelihood of a positive and profitable shift in your membership growth.

Although this can a painful process, you will be a much stronger Chamber and your team will be pleased with the end result.

Wishing you continuous and profitable growth.

Cheers!
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May 29, 2017    
Five Key Reasons Chamber Members Join & Renew

(Part 2 of "Membership Benefits are NOT as Important as You Think They Are.")

Nurturing the "Membership Experience" -- understanding each individual member and feeding their individual expectations -- is the only sustainable growth strategy that works.

In general, most enterprises don't join community-based membership organizations for discounts or other "opportunities."   And, when it comes to membership renewal time, those things are seldom important.   Decision-makers join and renew because they ...
    - perceive value in what you have been doing.
    - are happy to contribute to a "cause" they feel good about.
    - want to identify and be involved with a "bigger picture."
    - want to enjoy the feeling of contributing to positive outcomes for their community.
    - share similar views with other members.

If your day-to-day operations and philosophy match these points then your Chamber will grow just fine ... BUT ... you must make it obvious to everybody.

You know the saying: "It's never enough!"   Well, it applies here.   It's not enough to do all the right things; you must market and publicize appropriately and constantly so that everybody knows!   However, if you do so, you will really like the results.

Wishing you continuous and profitable growth.

Cheers!
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2017 Archives
  Membership Benefits are NOT as Important as You Think - #1   (5/14)
  You Must Tell Your Members What You're Doing For Them   (4/30)
  Workforce Development ... Are You Involved?   (4/16)
  An Idea for Learning What Your Members Want.   (4/2)
  Make Sure You Gather the "Little Data".   (3/21)
  Make Sure Your "Voice of Business" is Heard   (3/5)
  Associations of Chamber Executives   (2/21)
  Do People "Out There" Know What You Do?   (2/6)
  Just published ... "The 21st Century Chamber of Commerce" White Paper   (1/23)
  2020 could be your Magic Year   (1/10)
2016 Archives
  Ditch the Contact Form, Baby!   (12/11)
  "About Lipstick and Pigs" (Part 2)   (11/27)
  About Lipstick and Pigs - Part 1   (11/6)
  "Mixers ... they're so 20th-century!"   (10/23)
  Out-of-the-Box Branding   (10/10)
  "Hot Deals" ... Really?   (9/25)
  Sharing Membership Referrals   (9/10)
  An Excellent Source of Membership Leads   (8/30)
  A Simple Value-added Benefit for your Membership   (8/17)
  It worked . . . Immediate Results!   (7/31)
  A Simple Media Strategy for Your Chamber ... FREE!   (7/19)
  "Brexit" ... Positive Chamber Outcomes   (7/3)
  Problem-solver... "Yes!"     Savior... "No!"   (6/20)
  I like Nathan Blecharczyk's attitude.   (6/6)
  Are you Veteran-friendly?   (5/22)
  Are you Relational or Transactional?   (5/9)
  Can you say "Employee Benefit"?   (4/25)
  Re-vitalize Your Board of Directors ... and Your Chamber   (4/9)
  From Scotland ... a few thoughts   (3/27)
  Young Professionals are Important + Framework2020   (3/13)
  Just Announced ... the "Framework2020 Tour"   (3/1)
  Money Talks so ... Make Sure it's "Happy"   (2/14)
  Conflict of Interest & Local Government   (2/1)
  It may be time to huddle!   (1/19)
  And Your Mission Is ...?   (1/4)
2015 Archives
  Introducing ... Focused Growth - "A-Team" Initiative   (12/7)
  So ... Once You've Got 'Em, What's Your Plan?   (11/23)
  Just a reminder!   (11/9)
  Branding Your Chamber is a Serious Process but it Does Not Have To Be Difficult   (10/25)
  It's Time for Someone to Step Up!   (10/12)
  Give Them Something To Do!   (9/28)
  Do You Want/Need a Membership Analysis?   (9/14)
  Make Sure Your "A" Team is In Charge.   (8/30)
  And the Fat Lady Began to Sing!   (8/16)
  Do You Walk and Talk at the Same Time?   (8/3)
  Helping people WANT to join your Chamber   (7/19)
  50% Membership Loss ... that's a Serious Loss of Revenue!   (7/5)
  Don't Keep It A Secret!   (6/21)
  Survey the Members that Matter   (6/7)
  Helping Nonprofit Organizations   (5/20)
  Helping Startup Entrepreneurs   (5/5)
  The New Normal: Energizing your members to participate   (4/19)
  Do you have a RAP Sheet?   (4/8)
  What is your Real Retention Rate?   (3/24)
  Challenging times require fresh thinking   (3/10)
  Simplifying the Economic Development Discussion   (2/28)
  Chamber Members want Education Programs   (2/11)
  One of the great disconnects we choose to ignore!   (1/23)
  The "New" Chamber of Commerce   (1/9)
2014 Archives
  Do you have a Community Leadership Strategy?   (12/4)
  Message for New Chairpersons of Chamber Boards of Directors   (10/22)
  Tell your members about your business advocacy efforts   (9/2)
  Stop the Exodus! Retain your Newer Members!   (8/4)
  Are your Sales Staff asking the Right Questions?   (7/7)
  Understand and use your volunteers better.   (6/22)
  Invest in your Members. Remember who's paying the bills.   (5/5)
  Understanding your local economy and how your members are doing   (3/20)
  Tell your members about the 'SBA Emerging Leaders Initiative'   (3/7)
  Why People Join the Chamber.   (2/22)
  Please participate in the Survey.   (2/10)
  Newsletters ... the Unfortunate Reality   (1/24)
2013 Archives
  Are your Membership Goals Realistic?   (12/14)
  Is your new Board focusing on membership Retention?   (11/11)
  Happier Members means Happier Chambers of Commerce.   (10/15)
  What about the "Younger Generation"?   (10/2)
  What are you really developing?   (9/20)
  What happens when the excitement dies down?   (8/26)
  Using Technology for Education   (8/4)
  Are you a "Member-centric" Chamber?   (7/23)
  It probably won't be pretty but .....   (7/14)
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