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Monday, January 17, 2011

Affiliate Yourself with a Trade Organization

Join a trade association related to your product or service this year to stay on top of your business locally. Trade associations are designed to support professionals in their trade and often are the research arm for an industry. Many have active websites with business articles and local chapters just waiting for you. To find out more about your industry's trade groups, go on the web or contact your local public library. Reference departments will have "The Directory of Trade Associations", a comprehensive listing of over 30,000 organizations. Being aware of your industry's global issues may help you with your local issues.

Learning is an important part of our ongoing success. Utilizing outside resources is an additional way of enhancing your customer service, credibility and knowledge.

Trade Organizations or Professional Associations primary focus is to increase knowledge and to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. There are also several other benefits to affiliating with a trade organization such as visibility for you and your business, access to additional referrals or customers, opportunity to show your products and services, relationships to cultivate with other members in similar non-competitive fields and to learn more about your industry and other competitors.

Being involved is key. Some ways to be effectively involved might include hosting or sponsoring an event, speaking at seminars, volunteering to participate in the leadership or recruiting new members.

Additionally, affiliating with a professional association will also help you to evaluate presentations, marketing materials such as business cards, brochures, websites, etc. of others. This may help you improve on your own ideas and materials.

Utilize these Knowledge Networks to your advantage! Your participation in a trade organization will provide the opportunity as a member to get together with other members who share a passion for your chosen professional arena.

Kelli Holmes

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