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Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!
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  #1  
Old 01-24-2008, 04:45 PM
jrwalker333 jrwalker333 is offline
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Have any of you professional business owners considered being a member of the Better Business Bureau, or Your Chamber Of Commerce??? *I am asking this because about 15 years ago I was with a previous business I owned a member with our BBB and I felt for the fees, annual membership. It was not worth the cost. *However, recently I haved checked with joining two of our area Chamber Of Commerces and it seems they have alot of valuable resources available as well as tremendous savings on various programs. *One that got my interest was the ability to save 85% annually off my Workers Compensation premiums. *That is huge and would more then pay for the annual fees. *Also would have considerable market exposure and other valuable resources for us. *What do you all think any Members with any feedback appreciated, or any non-members considering joining or people like me just on the fence and weighing the benefits verse cost associated?

Thanks.



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Old 01-24-2008, 07:25 PM
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When you were a member of the BBB did they have monthly get together meetings?

I thought the Chamber of Commerce was more about bringing local business owners together while the BBB was a business reliability rating service.
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Old 01-24-2008, 10:45 PM
jrwalker333 jrwalker333 is offline
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Hi Steve, You are correct when I was with BBB all they did was provide information to consumers about your company and if by chance there was a complaint about a company, they if you had not already resolved complaint would try to mediate the claim. *We were a member for several years no complaints no disputes but yet we were paying around 400.00 per year for membership just to tell potential clients that we were a member. *Today I currently don't belong I dont think it is worth it. *All it *does is *give you bragging rights to say your a member or use there logo on your stationary. Not being *a member potential clients can still contact them and get same information about us (they just inform them we are not a member so what?)

The Chamber you are again correct more networking with other business, member discounts etc.



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Old 01-25-2008, 06:37 AM
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My take on this is the BBB is there, if you want to pay for the bragging rights, then do it. Otherwise think about this. This topic has come up in the past and each time I like to ask the business owner who posted it, "when was the last time a customer turned you down because you weren't a member of the BBB? Or when was the last time you asked a customer how they found you and they said through the BBB?" I am guessing the number would be zero to both.

I do think other organizations are really a good thing to take part in. Letting people know who you are, that you are real, that you are approachable, that you are a good guy/gal, all these things can be accomplished by joining local groups.

All to often it seems most business owners don't schmooze. They just want to focus on doing their work. They don't want to meet people, in fact, more often than not, I hear from a lot of business owners how they can't stand people.

So all of this may or may not be the case but ultimately it takes more energy to go out and meet people than it does to not, so for that reason alone, most business owners won't do it.

Why not join all these local business groups. The great thing about it for you is that each person you meet is a potential customer in two ways. They most likely own a home and own a business! On top of that they most likely know more people they can refer to you for assistance!

Have you ever been a member of any community organizations before? What's your take on them? And if you haven't, what's your view on why you haven't?
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Old 01-25-2008, 09:07 AM
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Hi Steve,

The BBB questions you asked are good. In part to answer your question in the past I have not heard a customer tell me they would not use us because we were not a member . However, there has been a few people potential clients that did ask me why we are not a member. Also last year we had over 40 inquiries about us to the bureau that is why the BBB tried to get me to join again (no complaints) just inquiries, so my question would be I guess to answer part of yours. Could those have been potential Commercial Prospects pre screening for consideration/ calls we will never get??

Small group organizations are great and I have tried a few community involvement etc sponsoring a sports team providing uniforms etc. Fun to do and beneficial but generated minimal sales. I have not done that though in past several years I guess mainly because of lack of interest and not a whole lot of sales generated either. But great points I will probably try to do that again this year ( just relocated to new area about 45 miles from my previous core of business) service area and now I am in a small tight community ( great advice) I will try to get more involved at least in our local community again.
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Old 01-25-2008, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]Also last year we had over 40 inquiries about us to the bureau that is why the BBB tried to get me to join again (no complaints) just inquiries, so my question would be I guess to answer part of yours. Could those have been potential Commercial Prospects pre screening for consideration/ calls we will never get??
I have heard other business owner tell me similar things they have heard from someone trying to sell them membership into the BBB. I just don't know what that really means for the BBB to say we had 40 inquiries about you? On one side it sounds like there could have been 40 potential customers asking about you? Did they ever explain what and inquiry consisted of?

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]Small group organizations are great and I have tried a few community involvement etc sponsoring a sports team providing uniforms etc. Fun to do and beneficial but generated minimal sales. I have not done that though in past several years I guess mainly because of lack of interest and not a whole lot of sales generated either.
This is a very interesting topic. When you reflect back on your businesses and the seminars you have gone to, what's your view on building goodwill within your community? Does the amount of goodwill you have within your community allow you to charge more for a service than a competitor? Does getting involved with your community allow you to build this goodwill level? What's your view on this?
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Old 01-26-2008, 03:37 PM
jrwalker333 jrwalker333 is offline
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The BBB did not supply me with information pertaining to inquiries, just stated we had over 40?

The community involvment question: I think that the small community that I presently just relocated to that it would help to be very involved (Ex: Sponsor a few sport teams etc. )this may help you within the community to gain local awareness as well as help establish a new client base. I am not sure though if this would allow you to charge a few more dollars then the competition. Previously, the area I moved from we had a very good overall awareness and even though I have relocated we will keep our presence known throughout that area and try to stay involved to some degree within that community for our loyal customer base we had developed there.
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Old 01-26-2008, 09:02 PM
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Rich,

When you look at the other lawn care businesses in your area, how does their community presence compare with yours? Do they do more or less? Do they do anything that stands out?

Also do you know if any of the owners are in the Chamber of Commerce?
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:19 AM
jrwalker333 jrwalker333 is offline
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Hi Steve, I am not sure to answer your questions,companies our size probably rarely do community programs, the largest companies in our area, I would say have some involvement. I know about, and they are usually the local suppliers of products in our area . Two I know for sure have some involvement size range they do is the first company is around 2 million in sales annually and the other probably 25-50million plus sales.

The chamber again The really big companies are in and most my size are not.
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Old 01-27-2008, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
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Quote[/b] ]I am not sure to answer your questions,companies our size probably rarely do community programs, the largest companies in our area, I would say have some involvement.
My view is, envision where you want to be. Act the role. Then assume the role.

In other words, go out there and be the lawn care ambassador in your community. Talk about lawn care issues. Fertilizer issues. Carbon footprint issues. Environment issues. Be the green man. The person everyone knows to go to to ask advise on this stuff from.

Do presentations on such topics in your community. To home owner associations.

I think the more outgoing you are in this manner, the more attention you will get and the larger your business will grow.

What's your view?
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