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Fitting In at the Local Chamber...

nothinglikeitnothinglikeit subscriber Posts: 27
edited November 2007 in Thought Leadership
I`ve been to a few Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce meetings. I find it`s really cool to meet lots of like minded entreprenuers. But the impression I get is that 90 percent of them have been at it for years, whearas I`ve been trying to start up for a year now.  I`m also not directly selling a product that would be beneficial to them (videogames).
I think the purpose of the Chamber is also to add value to the business community and participate. This is of course in addition to networking. So my question is this, what is the best way to  participate with your local chamber of commerce when you`re the new guy on the block?


  • sagetroutsagetrout subscriber Posts: 1
    I read your profile in addition to reading your question.  I also looked at your website.  I`m puzzled about what led you to decide to join the Chamber in the first place.  It doesn`t make a lot of sense.
    Your business doesn`t seem to be a very natural fit with the types of businesses you usually find in CofC all over the country.   I don`t think it`s a matter of you trying to fit in because no matter what you do, the people involved in the Chamber are going to have trouble figuring out how they "link" to you or you link to them to develop more business for each other. 
    Rather than trying to fit in at the Chamber I think there are groups that might be more beneficial for your participation.   Entrepeneur groups, technology groups, and other groups might be more appropriate for your needs.  
    Before I participate in any business group I ask myself whether or not the group includes people who would make good links for networking.   If they don`t, I don`t need to participate or worry about fitting in.  I don`t participate in CofC events because I`ve found them to be lacking in what I need for networking.   Maybe you`ll discover the same thing I did and move onto other groups that are more productive for you.
  • nothinglikeitnothinglikeit subscriber Posts: 27
    Wow that makes a lot of sense doug/everyone else. My question was actually a bit  two sided. Part of my original business plan was to be a web designer as well. Which would be a service lots of businesses may need. (persumably) But lately I`ve been focusing only on the game devolopment part of it.
    In the future I plan on creating  training games and games that advertise products. That again would be a viable service that the groups may need. But again, those are both future plans. For the present, I just went to check it out honestly. But I  can`t seem to find any reason to join, except some of the business start up stuff I read said seek out your local chamber of commerce.
    And you`re right Jennifer, they do seem to cater to large (fortune 500) companies. I was scratching my head wondering what about the "little guy?" I just can`t see why I`d need to join the group now that I look at it.
    I guess the next best thing for me to do would be to examine my end customer, and start networking there. I like your idea about the facebook/myspace set nicole. Thanks again for your insight everyone.
  • cadetstevecadetsteve subscriber Posts: 3
    Marvin, I manage a Wireless Communications store. I attend our local chamber events and I am an ambassador as well. While I use the wireless store as an excuse the true reason is to meet influentual folks in my community. You get to know these people over a period of time. You understand there business you help them on occassion and when their son/daughter, grandson grandaughter have birthday you remind them of it. You have the benefit of helping these folks save time finding gifts for Tommy or Salley. When the newest Version of Xbox or Wii come out who are they going to call. Get creative find out who their kids are when birthdays are, around Christmas personalize announcement of new products. Keep a data base. The relationships you build now can only help you later no matter where you go. Especially if you want to create software later. It`s only a foot in the door and your time. While I agree there are other mediums available to you like Craig said owning and running your business is not easy and nothing will be handed to you. You are doing the right thing by looking for it. If you are uncomfortable talking to folks just ask them How can I help you with/grow your business. Or "tell me how your product or business would benefit someone I know?" THey are more than happy to tell you!And don`t be afraid to tell them the same.
    I am sorry that this is soo long I got fired up by a response you got. And yes it makes perfect sense. You have you businesses best interest in mind. Some folks would open the doors and dry out waiting for the business. Others would look to immediate gratification or ROI. You are looking to be there for awhile and meet new people. GOOD FOR YOU! GOOD LUCK!
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