Sm. Biz: Jump Right In to Your Membership

Joining a membership organization, no matter the size, offers great opportunities. You’re meeting new people, attending events and using a new toolbox of resources.

Jenn Marshall, adolescent and young adult life coach for Sphere Education, shares her perspective as a small business owner, and how she has made the most of her membership:

I went to my first Chamber event with no idea what to expect. I met a dozen people and the next morning I was sitting at my desk wondering what to do next. In my corporate career, when I went to networking events I had a specific idea of who I wanted to meet and how I could help them. Now as a small business owner, I was the one who wanted something … clients! I sat there looking at these cards, wondering, “What do I have to offer?”

This year I celebrated five years in business and five years as a Chamber member, and when I think about my Chamber membership one my favorite quotes comes to mind: “You get out what you put in.” This statement couldn’t be more true. I jumped right into the Chamber community and found ways to get involved. I have attended every event I possibly could, joined a leads group and now I am the chair of the program. I attended Chamber 101 and repeat it every other year, just to stay up to date on the new offerings with the Chamber. And, as a Gold member I participated in GMAP (the Gold Member Alliance Program) and now I lead my own GMAP groups.

Chamber tip: Check out the Chamber’s calendar to discover where you can plug in.

As a small business owner, the benefits of the Chamber are vast. I have met people I wouldn’t have met, I have had opportunities I wouldn’t have had and I have formed relationships that increase my business every day. Most importantly, I have the opportunity to give back to the business community in which I live and work.

Rewind to that morning after my first event and my thoughts about what I have to offer. Now every time I meet someone at a networking event and I write that email the next morning, I can offer my services — but I can also offer connection and support in the business community and inside the Chamber.

My Chamber membership is critical to my success. And my advice to fellow Chamber members it to just show up, get involved and the business will follow.

Want to utilize your Chamber membership, but not sure how? Reach out to our membership team.

Jenn Marshall is the adolescent and young adult life coach for Sphere Education