Expand Your Network through The Berks Chamber

Twenty to thirty new business owners join the Berks chamber each month.  Some never take advantage of the numerous benefits of chamber membership; then wonder whether it was a good investment. Don’t let that happen to you. Participate in the many mixers, education, and networking opportunities to expand your base and build your business. Chamber membership is an investment in your business that provides the opportunity to succeed — but you must make the effort.

Here’s how to make sure you get the most from your membership.

  • Read Your Chamber Packet. The chamber packet you received on sign-up contains great hints on Berks Chamber services and the economic value of membership. Read it again; I guarantee you’ll see something you missed the first time.  I’ll be focusing the rest of my article on the true secrets to getting the most from your chamber membership.
  • Go to the events. The mixers, breakfasts, classes and special events are listed on the website, www.berkschamber.org. Put two or three events on your calendar for next month; once on your calendar, you’ll probably go.  The mixers are a great way to meet fellow chamber members in a relaxed atmosphere where you have time to chat and get acquainted. Typically 40 to 70 people show up each time. Mixers are free. And, by the way, make it a goal to meet five new people and find one to follow up with. That’s what mixers are for.
  • Go Early. Some events, like the monthly breakfast, only have networking time before the program or a couple minutes during the program.  At the monthly chamber breakfast people rush out at the end to get to work. SOHO, or Small Office Home Office, is smaller and more relaxed and several people always seem to stay to chat afterwards. SOHO is free, too.
  • Use the member list.  At www.berkschamber.org you can search and find an address, contact name and phone number of all member businesses as long as you are a member. Make sure you take advantage of them.
  • Socialize! Golf outings, golf lessons, road rallies, Reading Royals and Reading Phillies games. Just to name a few! Don’t forget the winter picnic! All of these allow you time to really get to know some other members, meet other business owners and extent your circle of influence.
  • Get Involved. The Red Carpet Committee organizes many of the social events. There are places to volunteer and get a chance to show why people should like you and trust you — always a good idea when you are looking for business.
  • Healthcare. Many companies join the chamber just to get the lower cost healthcare benefits.  Check it out or at least get a competitive quote with Berks chamber’s partner, PCI.

If all this sounds like a theme, you’re right. You must get events on your schedule, get involved and participate. It’s another one of those cases where you get out what you put in. So don’t just sit there — Berks Chamber membership has great advantages. Take advantage.

Merra Lee Moffitt is a member of Reading, PA’s Berks Chamber Red Carpet Committee. In real life, she coaches business owners on earning more, keeping more and growing their money, a very different kind of Certified Financial Planner. Having created and built her own 30-person company, she KNOWS how to solve small business problems.  A recognized author on Berks Business issues, Merra Lee can be reached at 888-920-2030 or MerraLee@CaptureProfits.com.  © Copyright 2004 Merra Lee Moffitt