Friday, February 24, 2012

Commerce is based upon your customer's location, not the location of the business

Wendy Leung was recently musing about city borders, and noted that the Upland Chamber of Commerce was hosting a meeting in Rancho Cucamonga. She then noted:

But I guess the Upland Chamber of Commerce is a bit of a misnomer. Its members spread across the Inland Valley making it more like a regional chamber.

The Upland Chamber of Commerce isn't the only one. I live in Ontario, and I checked the membership list for the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. The list, in alphabetical order, begins with companies based in Upland, Redlands, and Belmont Shore before it gets to its first business that is actually located within Ontario's city limits (Aaren Scientific).

But there's a reason for this inter-city membership.

While we like to think that a chamber of commerce's sole purpose is to promote the businesses within a city, it can also be used to promote BUSINESS within a city. There's a difference - in the latter case, you're looking for customers.

So when KSGN radio wants to get listeners in Ontario, it joins the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

I wonder how many chambers of commerce the average small-to-medium sized business actually joins. Even if the business only has a single location, I bet some of them join a half dozen chambers or more.

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