Using the Chamber of Commerce to Help Grow Your Home-Based Business

By: Kyli Penrod

Almost everyone is aware of what the Chamber of Commerce is and what it can do for businesses in the area. However, most people don’t know what it can do to help home-based businesses like Mary Kay, a Head Band Company, Tupperware, Pampered Chef, a Custom Cup business and so much more. I recently started working for the chamber, but before that, I had little to no knowledge about the chamber and I run my own home-based business! Crazy right? How could I run a business without looking into the resources right in my hometown? However, a month ago, I began to work with the chamber and as a result, have become a big believer in the importance a chamber can play. And It doesn't matter how big your company is either, a start up less than a year old or a business in year 12 of operations can benefit by joining the Chamber!

Here is the truth: Chambers of Commerce can be one of the best friends your home-based business can have!

What is one of the main problems you or someone you know encounter as a home-based business? I can guarantee it’s the isolation and lack of support from the community. Starting a home-based business can be challenging mainly because your social circles tend to be small. Well, now you have the Chamber of Commerce in your corner. The purpose of the Hartford City Chamber of Commerce is to help grow small businesses in our community. Now ask yourself, what kind of business are you? A small business right? That means you can make the chamber the home for your business!

We make it our goal to host plenty of events for you to network and get to know like-minded people in the community. All of our chamber members want to see small business grow in the community and that includes you.

Now let’s look at all of the things we can really do to grow your home-based business:

1. Active Learning: The Chamber takes pride in providing you the tools to help you keep learning every day. The key to being a successful entrepreneur is being able to outwork and outlearn everyone else, just ask Mark Cuban. The HC Chamber brings you speakers at each of our luncheons, provides a monthly newsletter, spotlights the successful businesses in the community, and plans on bringing an annual small business expo to the community. The chamber is also willing to meet with you to talk about your business, and is willing to work with you to bring new events to the table.

2. Networking: As I noted above, I know the struggles home-based businesses can face first hand. Home-based business owners can feel alone in the big world that is business, but joining your local chamber can help ease that feeling two different ways.

First, you will get to mingle with people that have faced or are facing the same problems as you are; whether those problems include growing your customer base, juggling your payroll taxes, facing the economy or your home life at the moment. You will always find a person to bounce ideas off of and talk about your struggles within the Chamber of Commerce.

Second, we have luncheons regularly throughout the year and provide several offers for ‘after hours’ events. This will offer you a chance to do business with fellow chamber members and grow your customer base. (Bring those business cards!)

3. Getting Involved: As a chamber, we want to change the community for the better and that means you get the chance to participate in making that change. Join a committee for one of our annual events, become one of the vendors at our business expo, or voice your passion project at one of our events.

4. H.C. $ and Business Referrals: If you don’t know much about the Hartford City Chamber of Commerce then you may not know that we give out Hartford City Dollars! Community members can use these dollars if your business op’s into using them! (You can learn more about this process by giving us a call.) We also make sure to refer your business first if you are on our chamber member list! That means if someone calls asking about great places to eat or where to find a certain product we will recommend you along with other members that provide those same services.

5. Growing Social Media: My biggest goal for my new position with the chamber is to grow our social media because that means you can benefit even more from joining! We have a following of 700+ people right now and that grows every day. If we post an event you’re hosting, a special you’re running or exciting news you want to share you can reach a whole new audience by sending it to us. We can tag your pages, as well as share news that you have put out. This also allows us to partner with you on your events, so people visiting our page to find out what is going out on they will see your event on our events page.

If you’re not a member of the chamber and you own your own business sit down and think about all the things we could do for you! We hope to see you join our membership list, but if not we still want to wish you all the best on your business venture. Any business growing our economy and community is good business!

If you’ve had great experiences with the chamber drop a comment below!