I love my local Chamber of Commerce. Joining the Chamber was the second thing I did when I started my local web design business (which evolved into Handyman Marketing Pros).
The first thing I did was hire a business coach, who told me to join the Chamber. Pro tip: come well prepared to the dinner table to explain to your wife why hiring a business coach is a good idea when you’re making $0 from 0 clients.
In this article, I’ll lay out my case for joining your local Chamber of Commerce to fuel sustainable growth for your handyman business.
There is a common misconception that Chamber’s are strictly for “professional business services” like law firms, CPAs, etc. – that’s not true! The current President of my local Chamber owns a small auto repair shop. Businesses of all shapes and sizes are encouraged to join and participate.
My personal Experience and inspiration in sharing
Joining the Chamber was hands-down the best action I took when I first started my business.
Yes, it was weird at first because I didn’t know anyone. Yes, I was scared because I didn’t know anyone. Yes, I thought I’d feel like a loser because I didn’t know anyone. No, I didn’t know anyone.
But guess what? Now when I show up to events, I get to hang out with friends!
The relationships I formed from consistently showing up to Chamber events fueled my business’s early growth – this consisted of a monthly luncheon, a monthly “mixer” *cringe*, and random events. Every client in my first 8 months came from the relationship-web that was established at the Chamber.
It’s hard to understate the importance of this early clientele, because I literally had 6 months to make $X/mo. before I had to jump back onto the corporate ladder (an excruciatingly painful thought).
Why the Chamber is worth joining for your handyman business
Communities support small business, and the Chamber is your local hub for small business.
If nothing else, someone will hire you because you’re a local small business that shows up to Chamber events.
Early on, I got many jobs because I simply showed up. Many people value working with someone local (that they know) more than a proven business with loads of experience (that they don’t know).
Your ideal customers are members
Members of the Chamber, and attendees of events, are ideal customers for handyman businesses. They are:
- Business owners
- Well connected in the community
- Likely homeowners
- Local residents with friends and family (they will refer you!)
At our monthly luncheon, there is a mic that passes around and you get up to 30 seconds to introduce yourself and your business. Try this:
“Hi I’m Jason, your local, reliable Handyman. I do residential and commercial. Head to MyHandymanWebsite.com to learn more and get a free estimate. Thank you for your time.”
My “mic time” gradually increased as I got more comfortable. I wish I had video footage of my first time – I probably looked like I just witnessed a murder as I stumbled through the quickest introduction possible before passing off the mic faster than lightning.
Do that every month for 6 months, and I’d be FLOORED if you hadn’t developed a solid referral network within your community.
Valuable Local "Backlink" for your website
A “backlink” is a $5 word for a link from another domain. Backlinks are a significant SEO factor – the more links pointing to a site, the more prominent it must be.
Because handyman businesses rely on local customers and their organic traffic has local intent (read: people are searching for “handyman in *local service area*” on Google), having a high-traffic local backlink is extremely beneficial for handyman websites.
Chamber websites, especially for small-to-medium sized towns, get a TON of traffic (I helped my local Chamber analyze their traffic, and I was blown away!). They frequently rank #1 for event-related searches, community-related searches, and business-related searches. The more traffic a website has, the more valuable their link is.
It’s likely your competitors are not there
I’ve been involved in two Chambers. One small, and one massive. Not once did I ever come across a handyman business, or even anyone in the skilled trades industry.
This is a huge advantage you can take over your competition!
Community is important
If nothing else, you’ll be participating in the business life-blood of your community. That, in my opinion, is important for businesses to be a part of.
Yes, we’re busy. Yes, we’d all like leads and to grow our businesses. But don’t show up just to get business.
I believe at the end of the day, if we all show up with a good attitude, eager to serve our community, the business success will piggyback on that.