KPMG Spark Blog
What are industry associations and why are they relevant to you?
Industry associations can be valuable to help the growth of small businesses. They are a great place to create influential and effective connections within a business’s industry, sector, or even sub-sector. Associations also can provide an important benchmark in establishing trustworthiness and meaningful connections and advice for your business.
An industry association is typically founded and funded by businesses that operate within a specific industry. In addition, the association can participate in activities such as advertising, education, publishing, lobbying, and political donations; however, its main and most important focus is collaboration between companies.
Many associations are non-profit organizations governed by bylaws and directed by officers who frequently are also members. Associations typically offer some information and services for free, but, in most cases, you need to become a member to access the full range of information, resources, and services they offer. In many industries, becoming a member of the peak association body can give your business credibility as your membership demonstrates to customers that you have met strict criteria and have certain qualifications and experience within your respective field. Searching online is a good place to start to find industry associations relevant to your business.
Here are some of the major benefits you may get once you join a specific association:
Networking is perhaps one of the main reasons why most professionals and companies join associations. Each member has the opportunity to talk and interact with like-minded individuals to exchange industry information and support. Networking with other members of the association can also help businesses find and meet new customers and get credibility in the industry.
Once you are a member of an association, you typically get exclusive insights and information about the industry in which your business operates. This usually helps members foresee trends, learn about new and emerging products and services, and generally be involved in the relevant information about their specific industry. Usually, members acquire the information and news updates through newsletters, case studies, articles, white papers, books, and more – most of which is online.
Associations may also provide free training and education to members that are focused on their industry. Usually, it is given through e-learning, market information, and organizing specific events like seminars or webinars. This can help professionals gain additional knowledge and even certifications that they can use to boost their career or improve their company operations.
Associations can also provide exclusive job postings or opportunities to its members. This is a great way for members to find the most suitable careers for them – or identify suitable candidates if the business is growing or needs to add more talent. In addition, associations often provide resources and tips about effective resumes or cover letters, job searching strategies, negotiation techniques, and more. Industry experts may be available for members to engage with and ask for a consultation on specific career issues.
In many cases, customers or clients view companies or individuals who are members of a good association as trustworthy. Clients may interpret that the business is established, accepted by the industry, and follows specific standards and best practices – which may help to enhance the public’s trust of both the industry and the particular business. Furthermore, associations can also give awards, certifications, or badges to members who have notable performance.
Associations also can help their members find the right suppliers and even help out in closing good business deals. This can significantly help the members to save money and time in finding the right supplier for their business. Furthermore, associations often provide relevant and exclusive discounts and deals to their members. These discounts are usually on specific products and services given by the other members of the associations, which is a win-win situation for everyone.
Associations typically establish certain rules and standards that all their members are required to follow. These rules are usually ‘codes of conduct’ and/or best practices that further help protect the public. So if a brand or an individual is a member of the association, it means that it adheres to the code of conduct and employs the best practices of the association.
Associations organize many industry events including trade shows, seminars, focus groups, and conferences. These events can be valuable places for businesses to show their services to others in the industry. Events can also be a great place to network and communicate with industry leaders. Exhibiting at industry events can be an excellent way to build a brand image for your business within the industry. In the current COVID-19 environment, many associations are conducting their industry events virtually – many with the same or even enhanced attendance and results. And, many media representatives are available and looking for news stories at industry events, making it a good place to get out your story and your news.
These are just some of the many benefits that an individual or company can get when they belong to an association. Most of all, KPMG Spark will be there for you along the way with our accounting platform! We will take care of your online bookkeeping so you can focus on networking in your industry and growing your business. Visit our website to learn more about how KPMG Spark can meet your online accounting needs and help save you time and money.
This blog article is not intended to address or provide advice concerning the specific circumstances of any particular individual or entity and does not constitute an endorsement of any entity or its products or services.
Some or all of the services described herein may not be permissible for KPMG audit clients and their affiliates or related entities.
The following information is not intended to be “written advice concerning one or more Federal tax matters” subject to the requirements of section 10.37(a)(2) of Treasury Department Circular 230. The information contained herein is of a general nature and based on authorities that are subject to change. Applicability of the information to specific situations should be determined through consultation with your tax adviser.
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