Membership in Business Organizations
• Fifty-eight (58) percent of small-business owners belong to one or more business organizations and 42 percent belong to more than one. The owners of larger, small businesses are significantly more likely to be members, and members of more than one organization, than are owners of smaller, small firms.
• The most important business organization for 45 percent of small-business owners is a national or international group, though 28 percent consider theirs to be a state or regional organization, and 26 percent a local or neighborhood association. Sixty-three (63) percent classify their most important organization as a trade or professional association, 26 percent a general business group, and 8 percent a booster or promotional organization.
• Fourteen (14) percent say that they are very active in their most important business organization.
• The most important benefits of a business organization to current members are: informs you about government rules and obligation, promotes your industry or community, and provides technical information specific to your industry. The least important benefits are: social activities, supports one or more charitable activities, and makes you part of a group that can purchase discounted goods and services.
• The relative attractiveness of organization benefits to those who are non-members generally parallel important benefits to members. The primary exception is makes you part of a group that can purchase discounted goods and services. The group purchasing benefit is of broad interest to non-members, but not to members. However, the overall importance of organizational benefits is less for non-members than members.
• Association members are divided over the most important type of information they receive from their business organizations. Twenty-four (24) percent report their choice is new technologies and the latest way of doing things, 23 percent cite their specific industry’s news and information, 22 percent note applicable laws and regulations, and 18 percent prefer information about markets and customers. Non-members have greatest difficulty locating information about applicable laws and regulations (32%) and markets and customers (21%).
• Forty-three (43) percent of members annually attend conferences, seminars, meetings, etc., sponsored by business organizations that require them to be away from home for at least two nights. The most important benefits received from attendance at these gatherings are continuing education (49%) and networking opportunities (29%).
• The most single important reason that owners do not belong to a business organization is few or no visible benefits from membership (40%), they are not “joiners” (22%), and they have not had time to look into it (21%). Nineteen (19) percent terminated membership in one or more business organizations within the last three years. The most frequent reason given for termination (45%) is that the benefits are not worth the cost of membership.