Sadly, few contractors belong to a service or civic club. They are missing an opportunity to help their businesses and support the community. Here are nine reasons why you should join a service club this month.
1. You Will Get Referrals
Service clubs are packed with community centers of influence. These are the people others turn to for recommendations. If someone asks a center of influence for the name of a good air conditioning company and you belong to the influencer’s service club, chances are good that you will get the recommendation. Referrals are not the purpose of a service club or the reason you should join one, but they will occur.
2. You Will Get Direct Business
In addition to being packed with community centers of influence, service club members are generally more affluent than the average person. Sooner or later, every member of the club will need air conditioning and heating work. If the member does not have a relationship with a contractor, you have a very good shot at getting their business. Again, it’s not the reason you join a club, but it is nevertheless a natural outcome.
3. You Will Find Suppliers and Professionals
Just as club members will turn to you for their service needs, you will turn to the club for your service providers. Need a corporate attorney or trial attorney? How about a property developer? Commercial insurance broker? While you may have all of these boxes checked, sooner or later you will need a professional service and have no idea where to turn. If someone in your club cannot fulfill the role, you can probably get a good recommendation. Remember, these are community centers of influence.
4. You Will Find a Source of Good Advice
If you do not belong to a local trade association or a national network group like the Service Roundtable, sooner or later you will encounter a perplexing situation where you need input from someone with experience or special expertise. For example, if dealing with an employee who stole from a customer, would it be beneficial to talk with the Chief of Police, who happens to be in your club.
5. You Will Find Employees
You are unlikely to find technicians from your service club, but you might have club members who know of technicians who are looking for a change. Also, you might find a sales professional, manager, or CSR directly from club members.
6. The Club is a Vehicle to Give Back
One of the most important reasons for joining a service club is that it gives you a way to give back to your community. All clubs hold various types of fundraisers and dispense the funds to local charities. All also have direct volunteer activities. Sometimes it’s hard for individuals to learn about service opportunities, but it’s the business of a service club.
7. Being Active in the Community is Great Positioning
When you are active in community service, it gets noticed over time. It positions you different from others contractors. You are seen as someone who is involved in the community. People prefer to do business with community leaders because they trust them and they believe that they will stand behind their work.
8. Learn What is Happening in the Community
Every service club features speakers. These range from dreadful to exceptional. Maybe the most beneficial are those who are informational. For example, people from various government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and businesses who are making a current and future impact on the area will speak to talk about it. This might be a representative from a light rail system, a new business development, etc. You will know what’s going to be happening in your community before it occurs, which is incredibly valuable.
9. Makes Breakfast or Lunch More Productive
Almost all service clubs meet over breakfast or lunch. If you are going to eat anyway, why not use the meal as an opportunity to network and learn about your community? Seen in this light, the clubs do not take any time.
How to Get Started
Your local chamber of commerce should be familiar with all of the local service clubs. You can also conduct a simple Internet search. The main service clubs are Rotary, Lion’s, Optimist, Kiwanis, and Civitan. Search for your community and one of these club names. You will get results. Contact the club and say you would like to visit and consider membership. Every club wants new members. You will be greeted with open arms.
Matt Michel is a member of the Lewisville Noon Rotary Club and president of the Service Roundtable. Learn more about the Service Roundtable, HVAC’s number one contractor group at www.ServiceRoundtable.com or call 877.262.3341.