Pros and Cons of joining your local Chamber of Commerce

Our membership benefits are designed to connect, support and represent your business, however, like most good things, joining a chamber does have a catch or two; find out if joining your local chamber of commerce is cost-effective by considering the following pros and cons.

Pros of joining your local Chamber of Commerce.

Profile raising

 Through our wide reaching social media, website directory, quarterly magazine and regular email updates, Inverness Chamber are committed to promoting your business widely online and in print.

  • New staff/promotion                                                                                
  • Updates in your sector
  • Holding an event                                                                                         
  • Contract or award won
  • Moving premises                                                                                         
  • Special offer/discount
  • New product or menu                                                                               
  • Industry Accreditation

These are just some examples of news that you could be sharing with your fellow members.

Networking opportunities

Inverness Chamber hold over 50 events a year, some events offer your business training, industry updates, the chance to hear from a leading business person or high profile speaker but one thing that they all have in common, is networking…
With around 2,500 business men and women attending Inverness Chamber events a year, attending events can secure your business quantifiable leads and lasting business relationships. Priority booking and discounts for members applies to most of our events.

We develop and nurture collaborative working by actively providing member referrals and your membership listing on Inverness-Chamber.co.uk puts you in direct contact with other professionals. The Highlands are known for placing value on a recommendation, so introducing yourself as a fellow member can be a great foot in the door.

Cost saving benefits

Chambers who are accredited to British Chambers of Commerce offer business benefits included in membership such as our HR, Health and Safety Legal and Tax advice. Inverness Chamber also look for deals we can make on your behalf, so you’ll often find the best price for your energy or telecoms is available through our affinity partners.

Also, our Member Portal is packed with member-to-member discounts on anything from massages to lawn maintenance.

Consultation

Chambers have access to politicians at all levels of government and bring the challenges faced by our members to their attention. We can bring your voice to the table when discussing major issues facing our region. Inverness Chamber is in a unique position, as an independent business organisation we receive no public funding meaning we can speak openly, honestly and quite passionately on your behalf. 

Export Support

Chambers work on behalf of HMRC as agents authorised to stamp export documents such as EUR1 and Certificates of Origin. Inverness Chamber have expanded this offering to include advice, export training and trade visits as well as one-to-one consultancy for your business looking to expand into new markets. This support is open to anyone but you can receive significant discounts as a member.


Sounds great, right? … but we know you have some doubts so let’s take a look at some potential downsides.


Cons of Joining a Chamber of Commerce

Membership fees

Money isn’t everything, but we know that every penny counts. How much up-front cash are we talking? Chamber of commerce fees are annual and based on the number of FTEs working for a company, so it can range between £300 - £1150 +VAT. Inverness Chamber have tried to make this easier for businesses by offering a monthly direct debit which could mean you are paying as little as £30 a month. We also offer a discount on your second and subsequent years.

ROI urgency

We have so far been unable to find the instant money solution, but, while hard work is still required we are here to help you. The membership team are happy to spend time with our members discussing how best to utilise the benefits for maximum impact. At your renewal, you will be sent a statement that lists all the savings you have made across the year and so we can confidently say that you will get out what you put in.

We offer additional Event Management and Sponsorship services to members who are looking to increase that ROI and make a big impact.

Attending events

If introducing yourself to a table of strangers is your worst nightmare then you may not relish the idea of attending chamber events. At Inverness Chamber, we do everything to make these as relaxed as possible and there are always members of the Chamber team happy to make introductions. Why not start out with one of our social events, such as the Chamber BBQ or Quiz Night.

Chambers often get feedback that you are too busy running your business to attend events. Inverness Chamber is made up of business men and women, so we understand. That’s why events are a mixture of early morning, lunchtime, afternoon and evening events and we work hard at keeping to schedule to minimise the impact on your work day. We also recommend sending any staff along, it’s great experience for your team’s ongoing personal development.

Chambers are open to everyone, meaning that you may come face-to-face with competitors. Inverness Chamber feel that every business should get the opportunity to sell themselves and you can let your work speak for itself and win the contracts.

Lobbying

Chambers are vocal in the media as well as lobbying decision-makers. Inverness Chamber are passionate about improving our region but with over 400 members, there’s a possibility you won’t agree with our stance. Speak to us, we are open to feedback and we have been known to change our minds.


Inverness Chamber’s membership team are here to answer any questions or concerns you have and we truly believe that these so-called ‘cons’ are far out-weighed by the benefits for you and for your business. If you are interested in becoming a member of Inverness Chamber, please get in touch.

Clare Armstrong, Head of Membership: clare@inverness-chamber.co.uk 01463 228383
Courtney Duddy, Membership Manager: courtney@inverness-chamber.co.uk 01463 228386