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2010-11-15 14:29:42

How to Get More Foreclosure Cleanup Business via Free Chamber Meetings

Chamber of Commerce meetings are fertile ground for foreclosure cleanup businesses. A foreclosure cleanup business is responsible for primarily the cleaning, clearing out and maintenance of properties that have been foreclosed upon. Services offered by these enterprises involve interior and exterior repair and maintenance ranging from debris removal, boarding of windows and doors, changing locks, inspections, painting and more. 

Local and International Chambers 

As new foreclosure cleanup businesses open their doors, they are looking for low-cost, effective ways to get the word out about their businesses.  The Chamber of Commerce ("Chamber") is a solid starting point for new foreclosure cleaning entrepreneurs.  Most cities and towns across the United States and throughout the world have Chambers.  It is a membership organization comprised of mostly local businesses whose goal is to network, promote and further the interests of enterprises within the community.  

When most think of these entities, they think local; however, there are several national and international Chambers in existence. These bodies are governed in part by a Board of Directors whose primary task is to assist in establishing and governing the policies of the Chamber.  

Membership Size

Some organizations have less than 50 members, while others have well over 300,000 members (i.e., the Paris Chamber of Commerce). The oldest English-speaking Chamber in the world is right here in the United States; the New York City Chamber of Commerce. It was founded in 1768. On a national scale, the United States Chamber of Commerce is, according to its website, "the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses ... " Wow, networking opportunities galore lie in Chambers of this size.

Membership Fees

Membership fees to join a Chamber can range from a low of less than $100 dollars annually, to upwards of well over a few thousand dollars.  Fees often depend on the size of your organization, the number of employees, and other factors. 

Free Meetings

While most organizations charge a membership fee to join, a great many have initial FREE meetings.  At these free gatherings, new business owners can attend to learn about a particular group and ultimately meet other members and potential members.

Small business owners seeking to grow their businesses should plan to attend a free meeting in their town and in neighboring communities.  When attending these free meetings, foreclosure cleanup business owners will often have a chance to introduce themselves and their business to the room.  

During the introduction portion of the free meeting, it is imperative to voice your business' unique selling proposition ("USP"). A USP is simply what makes your business different from other ones within your industry.  If you haven't devised your USP, now's the time to think about setting your business apart from the masses.

One-on-One Networking

After the formal free meeting, there will often be a one-on-one networking opportunity. Bingo! This is what you want to grow your business.  As a foreclosure cleanup business executive, plan to carry your business cards, company brochures, or postcards for the networking part of the meeting. 

Meet as Many Business Owners as Possible

When networking in a Chamber environment, entrepreneurs should try to meet as many business owners as possible. While it's imperative to be a good listener as others are explaining their businesses to you, it's equally important NOT to  get cornered by one business owner. 

WARNING:  It's easy to tuck away in a comfortable corner of the room and shy away from making contact with new people, especially for those who don't network often.  But while you may feel most comfortable in a cozy nook, you will likely wind up leaving with only one or two business cards. 

The goal is to "touch" as many people as possible and exchange banter about your respective businesses.  The more business cards you leave with, the more successful the event will be from a marketing standpoint.

Your Elevator Speech

TIP:  Prepare an elevator speech about your business. In one or two sentences, sum up who you are, the name of your business, what your business does, and how you're different. 

Following Up after a Chamber Meeting

After the meeting, plan to follow up with those you've met at the meeting within the next week. (Ideally, within the next few days.) This can be a phone call, a quick email, a formal mailer or an informal note.

The intent of the follow-up is to establish a rapport with the business owners you've met. Invite them to learn more about your business, and, remember, be equally open to learning more about their business as well.  Even if you don't need their particular business service, you may be able to refer someone to them who does. In turn, they can do the same for you. That's the benefit of successful networking.

Gold Mine in Contacts

Any successful entrepreneur will tell you business is about contacts, contacts, contacts. Their database, contacts' list, is their greatest asset.  A proven way to grow your business and build your contacts list is to network at Chamber of Commerce meetings.

Many wishes of success networking and growing your foreclosure cleanup business through your local chamber.

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