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Is joining a Chamber of Commerce worth the investment?
Thread poster: Susana Galilea
Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:08
English to Spanish
+ ...
Dec 8, 2005

Hi all,

I am considering joining my local Chamber of Commerce this year, and was curious to hear from colleagues who have done the same. Benefits include being listed in the professional directory (where as of now, not surprisingly, there is no "translation services" heading), as well as periodic networking opportunities with fellow business-owners in the neighborhood. Any feedback or advice regarding whether this would be a worthy investment would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks and greetings from snowy Chicago,

Susana Galilea
Accent On Spanish
Translation and Cross-Cultural Services
http://www.accentonspanish.com
http://www.proz.com/teams/140


[Edited at 2005-12-21 19:27]


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MLG  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:08
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Susana, absolutely! Dec 9, 2005

It is a wonderful way to promote yourself, especially at their annual dinners. In California they also have the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. And the Hispanic Business Network. You are on untouched soil there! I would recommend you join.
Best wishes, Susana

Mary L. Gai
MLG


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shfranke  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:08
English to Arabic
+ ...
Worthwhile if that Chamber membership is value-added to you Dec 9, 2005

Greetings.

Joining a local chamber of commerce may be worthwhile if that chamber's membership (as well as its service area) includes firms which have business interests (whether local and/or international in focus) and accordingly, would reasonably seek, appreciate, prefer and use your professional language services as listed in the chamber's membership directory.

Otherwise, the value-added dimension of a chamber membership (along with its associated costs, which usually are indexed to large-sized forms) is much reduced, if not irrelevant to your business growth and positioning yourself in the language service industry.

Bototm line: membership in a chamber has limited and mixed benefits to a freelance translator.

Perhaps other < proz.com > members (esp. those outside the US) can contribute their own perspectives and experiences about this good subject.


HTH.

Regards,

Stephen H. Franke
San Pedro, California


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Abdellatif Bouhid  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:08
English to French
+ ...
Great investment Dec 9, 2005

for geater visibility, networking, community involvment and of course business opportunities.

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Sandra Alboum  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:08
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Watch out for costs Dec 9, 2005

Susana,

Hi there!

I probably will cave at some point and join the local chamber of commerce here, but you should check out the rates, just to make sure. For example, around here, even if you are a chamber member, you still have to pay to attend events. There are networking events where the difference in what the members and non-members pay is like $10. So for the $450 it's going to cost me to join, the question is, is it likely I'll go to 46 events to finally get my money's worth?

(Probably not.)

Sandra


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teju  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:08
English to Spanish
+ ...
It all depends Dec 9, 2005

Hola Susana,

It all depends from what is it that you want to get from joining the chamber. Are you looking for a group of people to socialize with? Are you interested in networking to get more work?
I looked at your information, and I see that you live in Chicago. It makes me wonder why is it that no other translator is a member of the chamber of commerce in such a large city, there's got to be a reason.
I've worked at a chamber of commerce (in my other life), and your typical member is someone who's well established professionally and wants to give back to the community. There were a few members who were sole practitioners or free lancers, because the dues can be steep when they are coming out of your pocket, as opposed to having your company pay for them.
That takes me back to my first point. Joining a chamber can be very worthwhile and fulfilling, but it's rarely a cost effective way to get new clients. Not only there's the cost of membership, but also an investment of time and effort to attend the functions. So if the dues are not too high, and you've got free time, and altruistic motives, do join, you'll enjoy the experience. If not, you may be better off finding other ways to market your services. Mucha suerte y saludos.

teju


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Angus Woo
Local time: 00:08
Chinese to English
+ ...
Very practical Dec 10, 2005

teju wrote:

Hola Susana,

It all depends from what is it that you want to get from joining the chamber. Are you looking for a group of people to socialize with? Are you interested in networking to get more work?
I looked at your information, and I see that you live in Chicago. It makes me wonder why is it that no other translator is a member of the chamber of commerce in such a large city, there's got to be a reason.
I've worked at a chamber of commerce (in my other life), and your typical member is someone who's well established professionally and wants to give back to the community. There were a few members who were sole practitioners or free lancers, because the dues can be steep when they are coming out of your pocket, as opposed to having your company pay for them.
That takes me back to my first point. Joining a chamber can be very worthwhile and fulfilling, but it's rarely a cost effective way to get new clients. Not only there's the cost of membership, but also an investment of time and effort to attend the functions. So if the dues are not too high, and you've got free time, and altruistic motives, do join, you'll enjoy the experience. If not, you may be better off finding other ways to market your services. Mucha suerte y saludos.
teju

I heard the same opinion from a friend of mine.


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Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:08
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
membership dues Dec 21, 2005

Thank you all for your very useful input. This is actually a neighborhood Chamber of Commerce with reasonable membership dues (US$100 per year), whereas city-wide or Hispanic Chamber of Commerces charge much higher dues. I guess I need to take a look at the directory and figure out how many of the existing members would actually be a good fit as far as networking and potential collaborations. In a way, I am tempted to join to give myself a little push in the networking area, which doesn't exactly come naturally to me. Ah, I remember the times when one could afford being a shy, lonesome translator

Happy holidays and a profitable 2006 to all,

Susana Galilea
Accent On Spanish
Translation and Cross-Cultural Services
http://www.accentonspanish.com
http://www.proz.com/teams/140


[Edited at 2005-12-21 19:27]


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