October 1st, 2012
Are Industry Organizations Worth it?
I am often asked if getting involved in industry organizations are worth it. This isn’t just a simple yes or no answer. First, you have to decide what’s important to your business. There are many organizations that can be of value to you and your business. From the local chamber of commerce to manufacturers’ consortiums to specific national industry organizations like, NWDA, AAMA, WDMA, WDDA etc., there are many organizations to choose from, it’s just a matter of how much time you can set aside.
There are lots of reasons to get involved in various organizations. As business owners, you get the opportunity to network with your peers. The challenges that you might think are unique to you, may be more common than you think. There are great ideas and great solutions that often come out of networking through these organizations. However, as you become increasingly familiar and involved, you also get the opportunity to present your own ideas and your own agenda. And if you are part of a specific organization that gets involved in codes, regulations, laws, etc., you often are on the cutting edge of finding out how they work and how they will affect your business. And sometimes, you actually get to help craft new criteria for your industry.
The ‘big’ decision is deciding what type of involvement and type commitment you are going to make for your specific trade organizations. The benefit from becoming more involved is you become better educated. You become more knowledgeable and you truly do become an expert in your field.
With the door and window industry, there are many organizations to choose from, and finding the perfect one for you, really is a matter of preference. The leadership of any of our door and window organizations make themselves available one on one to you. They will answer any questions you have and often times, they will invite you to a meeting. Also, just like you offer references to your prospects and customers, all of our organizations do the same.
I am fortunate enough to be involved with multiple trade organizations. Not only do I get tons of information out of these organizations, I also have developed many strong friendships. The members of these organizations are terrific in helping me work through various challenges that I am up against. And I am happy to say, I have been able to offer advice and solutions to my fellow members. So, the question, are industry organizations worth the time commitment, really should be how important is our industry to us?