By Shane Gibson and Fiona Douglas-Crampton (this article originally appeared in the Vancouver Board of Trade Sounding Board).
How can you make the most of your membership in a Board of Trade or community based operation? If you expand your social network and build bridges to other industries, opportunity is everywhere.
One of the first questions we ask when considering getting involved in any association or venture is “What is our return on investment?” It’s all about ROI; unfortunately, most organizations have a narrow definition and limited strategy to maximize their ROI.
If an organization is “money-in money-out” focused with their return on investment measurement, they are simply missing out on long-term business growth. The 360-degree ROI model as seen below takes into account a full spectrum of revenue, brand and relationship multipliers that progressive organizations are using to fully engage the marketplace and maximize their true return on investment, as well as what Darcy Rezac calls “Return on Relationships.”
When an enterprise is involved in their community or a professional association like The Vancouver Board of Trade, they need to measure ROI in many ways to truly see the full impact of their contribution, networking and branding activities. Following are the fundamental areas we should consider.
Reputation and trust-building
“Business moves at the speed of trust,” says best-selling author Stephen Covey. By making a commitment to be involved, engaged and visible in our business community, we make it easier for our clients to trust us and be exposed to positive word-of-mouth within the community. As more people get to know us and the work we do it takes the fear out saying “yes” to doing business with us.
Corporate capacity building
Our ability to build relationships, communicate, sell, market, and lead is critical to our success as an organization. Through educational programs, networking opportunities, and exposure to your communities business leaders you are growing your individual team members’ capacity and in turn your overall organization competitiveness.
Brand association, PR and exposure
Your people are your brand. With every interaction with the community they have the opportunity to promote your brand, and tell your unique story. People buy from people, and face to face is your best currency.
You have to have your finger on the pulse of what’s going on in your industry, your clients’ industries and the economy in general. Usually by the time it’s reported in the news, it has already happened. Getting involved allows you to see the trends as they are…Read the rest at BoardofTrade.com
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