Business Considerations for Joining Organizations

Business Considerations for Joining Organizations

Human beings are social creatures, with a natural desire to be with others—to belong. In business, the desire to belong usually dovetails with the desire, with the need, to be successful. But, with so many member associations to choose from, the question becomes: “Which organizations are best for me personally and for my company strategically?”

Like most other business decisions, such as when and whom to hire and what equipment to purchase, choosing the “right” group for membership requires some analysis. Here are some things to consider as you do your homework:

The end game: What do wish to accomplish? Is your goal to network—to spread far and wide the name of your company or work you do—or are you looking mostly for solid or insider-type information to help you do your job better and be more competitive?

Cost vs. benefits: Will the financial investment in the organization pay for itself in return for useful services, resources, and information?

The value of time (your time): Some professional organizations are online only, others are offline (involving regular meetings) and some are a combination of the two. What kind of time does your company or work allow for group membership activities? Will your time away from the job do more harm than good?

Quality vs. quantity: Do you have the time and money to join a few organizations, or are you limited to just one? If just one, your choice becomes even more critical.

A good fit: Are the organizations under consideration compatible with your personal and professional philosophies and goals?

What others say: Before joining an organization, ask others what groups work for them. Insight from trusted friends and associates often can make short work of your selection process.

CREDITS

column by BAXTER TROUTMAN

BIO: Baxter Troutman is founder and chief executive officer of Labor Solutions, a staffing company with offices in Bartow, Winter Haven, Lake Wales, and Arcadia. A citrus grower who served in the Florida House of Representatives, Troutman understands the challenges and concerns of today’s farmer.