Published on March 8, 2016
1. © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page Make Your Members Happy 55Ways Trade Associations Can Add Value for Members A guide to increasing Trade Association revenue streams by supporting recruitment and retention, brought to you by: growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329
2. © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page Stabilizing Priorities 1. The More Things Change, the More Priorities Stay the Same 2. Make Smart Changes, not a “Sea of Changes” 3. The Value of Adding Value 4. The 1-2-3 of Non-Dues Revenue 5 Ways Trade Associations Can Add Value for Members 1. Make Friends with Millennials 2. Non-Dues Revenue (NDR) Generating Options 3. Cut the Cost of Compliance 4. Encourage Better Employee Benefits 5. Simplify the Business of Doing Business Summary Appendix About GrowthCorp Alliance Sources Table of Contents 02 3 5 6 7 8 11 14 17 19 23 26 27
3. © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page Stabilizing Priorities The More Things Change, The More Priorities Stay the Same On the surface, the business landscape looks drastically different than it did even 10 or 15 years ago. In many places, “big box” stores are rapidly replacing longstanding mom-and-pop storefronts by offering more selection at lower prices. Fully digital outfits such as amazon.com and Apple’s iTunes store have completely forsaken the brick-and-mortar approach by selling to their customers with the click of a button. The digital revolution hasn’t just changed the way we sell goods—it’s changing the way services are provided, too. Small to medium businesses that provide the talents of highly-skilled tradespeople are scrambling to find their footing in a new world driven by online customer reviews and ever-increasing expectations. 03
4. © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page These global business alterations have also impacted our Trade Associations. The unfortunate news is that most Trade Associations haven't changed their priorities or strategies for recruitment and retention in years! 1 A recent study has shown that Trade Associations’ priorities have remained the same year after year: • Grow membership • Encourage member engagement • Show value However, a major key to the success and longevity of a Trade Association is to stay aware of their trade community’s challenges and offer current cost- saving solutions. While the “how” of business may have radically changed, the “why” hasn’t. For the most part, the end goal is still to build and maintain a loyal customer base in order to increase revenue and profits. 04
5. © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page Make Smart Changes, not a “Sea of Changes” Change isn’t easy By our very nature, we don’t like change. It can be difficult, disruptive, and all too often, expensive. The recommendations in this eBook are meant to build on the foundation of what Trade Associations are already good at— providing value to their members. When new ideas and opportunities present themselves, smart organizations adapt, just as smart retailers are doing. The suggestions we present here are focused on ways you can improve and optimize your offerings to simplify the process of running an association and growing revenues—while keeping your members happy. Just like a Formula One driver could never win if they didn’t change gears, Trade Associations may occasionally need to make changes to progress to the next level. 05 Sometimes, changes are needed and desirable.
6. © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page 06 The Value of Adding Value “90+% of Trade Organizations see revenue 2 from membership dues as mission critical.” It’s worth the time and the effort to take a step back and look at the value you’re offering your members. Why? Of course, it’s no surprise that maintaining a large, active membership base is crucial to the health and well-being of a Trade Organization. Creating a year-round retention strategy that addresses members’ changing needs and motivations is no longer optional for success. High Value, High Return By providing high-value offerings, Trade Associations can: • Increase earnings from membership dues • Create an interdependence of membership and the association in order to increase relevance • Diversify income with non-dues revenue
7. © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page The 1-2-3 of Non- Dues Revenue In a recent survey, more than half of Trade Associations were operating on a budget of less than $50,000 per 2 year. Growing non-dues revenue can help: • Further the Trade Association’s mission and goals • Raise the profile of the Trade Association on local and regional levels 3 • Provide financial support and stability for the future In the next few pages, we’ll take a look at five strategies your Trade Association can use to add value for your members. Some of these also address easy, no-cost ways to increase non-dues generated revenues, creating a more successful association for all. 07 The 1-2-3 of Non-Dues Revenue
8. MILLENNIALS Innovative Ambitious Prospects Smart Devices Underemployed ConfidentDigital Future Educated Age Savvy Creative Echo Boomers Demographic Gadgets Modern Impulsive GenerationYGenerationY Cultural Technology 1980s iGen Net Generation Demanding © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page 1 5 Ways Trade Associations Can Add Value for Members Strategy 1 Make Friends with Millennials Who are Millenials? According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials are: • Born after 1980 • Extremely plugged into social media • Likely to delay marriage • More racially diverse than any other generation • Heavily in debt, often from student loans • Less likely to be involved with politics and religion 4 • Distrustful, but optimistic More than the Boomers and Gen-Xers that preceded them, Millennials are a mass of confusing, connected contradictions. They want to please 5 others, but tend to be more self-absorbed. They’ve come of age in a faster, tougher economy, but are approaching it 4 with an unexpected bravado of optimism and confidence. STRATEGY 08 millenials
9. © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page Advice on Adding Value for Millenials: 1. Concentrate on Causes 6 Millennials care more about causes and issues than institutions. Since this makes them less likely to see inherent value in Trade Associations, tailor your communications and events to demonstrate how your association supports the things they care about. Engage Millennials by supplying opportunities for business-related volunteerism and advocacy. 2. Hard Work is a Four-Letter Word It’s a common trap for older generations to see younger ones as lazy. Millennials are anything but! However, they prefer to see themselves 7 as creative rather than hardworking. Help them out by providing ways to free up their time from day-to-day chores to allow them to focus on the excitement of innovation. © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page 09 Why do they matter? It’s simple. Millennials are the future. They are the next generation of business leaders, customers, and association members. For any Trade Association or small-to-medium business to grow, the mindset and culture of Millennials must be considered.
10. © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page 3. For family-owned, small-to-medium businesses, preparing the next generation to take over is essential for the stability of the business and the employees who rely on it. Inter-generational communication has never been simple, but the explosion of digital and real-time communication platforms has made it more complicated than ever. Help connect your older and younger members by giving them opportunities to learn about how each communicates and conducts themselves. Help Pass the Torch Younger Customers - Different Expectations Even if your members’ leadership isn’t getting younger, customer base is. Millennials are the generation of structured lives. Gone are the days when companies could schedule service calls around large windows of time. Younger customers won’t just complain about it, they’ll tweet about it, too! Just Google “bad customer service tweets” for proof of how supporting reliability and timeliness in service delivery can help your membership. their 5 10 Advice on Adding Value for Millenials Continued ...
11. © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page NDR by the Numbers A recent study found that, on average, NDR accounts for about 50% of Trade Associations’ revenue, and that 80% of Trade Associations have a positive return on investment (ROI) 3 for NDR activities. 2 5 Ways Trade Associations Can Add Value for Members Strategy 2 Non-Dues Revenue Generating Options Inform & Connect with NDR A strong, stable Trade Association is good for its membership. Therefore, non-dues revenue (NDR) is good for your members, too. It’s worth it to take a look at your NDR-generating activities and ask, “Are we doing enough?” Most NDR programs give members the chance to learn or network. By tweaking your offerings to ensure they are also solving problems and making running a business easier for your members, you can put NDR to work for everyone. Make Sure Your NDR Programs are Really Adding Value 1. Get Educated about Education Workshops and seminars are common sources of NDR for Trade 3 Associations. If you don’t currently offer any type of continuing education, consider starting small with online training courses, low- cost webinars, or lunch-and-learn events. Regardless of whether you’re just starting down the education path or are a seasoned pro, keep an open dialog with your members to find out what topics they find most valuable. Online survey tools are a low-cost (even free) way to collect data. STRATEGY 11 educate & network
12. © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page 2. People Are … People “It’s just business” is a common, and often necessary, mindset used to make professional, non-emotional decisions. But let’s be honest: Business is about people. By realigning NDR efforts to embrace our (sometimes sloppy) human nature, Trade Associations can raise the bar on their offerings—especially to Millennials. Consider expanding your syllabus to include: • Soft skills such as conflict management and interpersonal communication • Health and wellness seminars • Work/life balance programs 3. Work Hard, Play Hard If you are a regional Trade Association, or a local branch of a national organization, odds are many of your members will be direct competitors. This can make networking difficult to navigate. To break the tension, structure events around fun, physical activities. Building camaraderie through a hobby or leisure interest will give your members a chance to put their business competition aside and learn more about each other. Keep in mind that sometimes it may be best to avoid head-to-head challenges! Building camaraderie through a hobby or leisure interest will give your members a chance to put their business competition aside and learn more about each other. Keep in mind that sometimes it may be best to avoid head-to-head challenges! © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page 12© 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page Make Sure Your NDR Programs are Really Adding Value Continued ...
13. © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page A Community of Inclusiveness, Not Competition “Work hard, play hard” isn’t going to fly with everyone, but maybe your members will see the advantages of working together toward a common goal. For example, supporting a local charity, joining together to take group legal action or to lobby for new regulations 8 may be in everyone’s best interest. Yankees and Red Socks fans both dislike the Mets, right? 13© 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page Make Sure Your NDR Programs are Really Adding Value Continued ...
14. © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page 5 Ways Trade Associations Can Add Value for Members Strategy 3 Cut the Cost of Compliance Compliance is Concerning In the fall of 2014, small business owners were asked to name the biggest obstacle facing the health of their business. As you would expect, taxes and poor sales were high on the list, taking the second and third spots. The No. 1 concern? Complying with government regulations and dealing 9 with red tape. Managing compliance issues has become such a concern in the last few decades that the U.S. Government passed the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002 (SBPRA) to help simplify the process—at least for government contacts. Through this law, the U.S. Small Business Association is empowered to support small business concerns, but execution leaves a bit to be desired. 3 STRATEGY 14 compliance 10 U.S. Small Business Association’s “Federal Compliance” Website 42 Articles about compliance offered on Contacts and Resources page 76 Links to “learn more” within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services article alone 1 Thorough but overwhelming resource In short, compliance is complicated and costly, even if you do everything by the book.
15. © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page Out of Bounds: What if You Don’t Comply? In addition to the cost of simply monitoring and reporting on compliance, penalties for non-adherence can be significant. For the healthcare industry, violations of HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, carry fines up to $50,000 per citation. And that’s just for violations “due to reasonable cause 11 and not due to willful neglect.” Penalties vary by industry and some cases include criminal investigations in addition to fines. Advice for Adding Value with Compliance 1. Keep Your Members Up to Date The Occupational Safety & Health (OSHA) Administration lists 1,450 sub-parts to its OSHA standards, many of which include additional sub-sub-sections. Making sense of current standards, let alone changes to the code, is a full-time job in and of itself. For members who have a difficult time covering just day-to-day human resources issues, compliance can seem daunting, if not 12 impossible. By providing your members with training or access to a compliance expert at a discounted rate, you can help simplify one of their biggest headaches! In addition to industry-specific r e q u i r e m e n t s , m a n y businesses are required to comply with regional statutes and to provide training for insurance purposes. Easy, low- cost access to health, safety, and HR training programs is highly attractive to many small-to-medium business owners. 15
16. © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page 2. Continuing Education Some industries require workers to complete continuing education courses to keep their licensing current. Employees sometimes cover these costs, but often they are passed on to the business. A Trade Association that provides education opportunities will be a Trade Association with happier members! © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page 16 Advice for Adding Value with Compliance Continued ... Offering training programs through web-based portals can simplify the process of compliance while saving on cost.
17. © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page 5 Ways Trade Associations Can Add Value for Members Strategy 4 Encourage Better Employee Benefits Employers, Employees, & Expectations It may surprise you to learn just how disconnected your members and their employees are when it comes to benefits. Take a look at these 13 recent survey results from Aflac: Odds are that employee benefits are much more important to job satisfaction and productivity than your members realize. Benefits also have a significant impact on employee turnover, which can be a drain on both time and finances. 17 Do Employee Benefits Have a Significant Impact on Job Satisfaction and Productivity? Job Satisfaction Employees Employers Productivity 80 60 40 20 0 4 STRATEGY benefits More Survey Results 50% of employees surveyed said they were “somewhat likely to search for a new job in the next year”, but that better benefits would make them more likely to stay 13 in their current job.
18. © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page 18 Diversity = Innovation Different people bring different perspectives, which can open your members’ businesses up to 16 new demographics and opportunities Advice for Adding Value with Employee Benefits • Enable Access Improving your members’ benefits packages will help your members remain more competitive in their employee recruitment and retention efforts. However, cost can seem to be a difficult, even impossible, barrier to overcome. Offering access to subscription-based benefits packages that take advantage of economies of scale can help your members give more for less. • Champion Diversity Diversity initiatives aren’t just nice to have. Millennials are the most 4 diverse generation to enter the U.S. workforce in history, which means it’s more important than ever for people of different cultures and backgrounds to learn to live and work together. It just makes good sense to go above and beyond compliance when it comes to sexual harassment training, the Americans with 15 Disabilities Act (ADA), and other statutes related to diversity.
19. © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page 5 Ways Trade Associations Can Add Value for Members Strategy 5 Simplify the Business of Doing Business How Everyone Gains with Partnering The fifth strategy to help your Trade Association create happier members is to consider offering affiliate programs. Affiliate programs bring real value, simplify the business of doing business, and work to everyone's advantage. For Your Members Many of these programs help by providing: • Products and services that members are already shopping for; often at huge discounts • Timely, current, and relevant education for members • The latest information about productivity (materials, technology, education, and skills) • Opportunities for members to increase their “bottom-line” through improved productivity and marketing processes 5 STRATEGY simplify 19 Members wonder, “What’s in it for me?” If members feel that they aren’t experiencing real advantages, they are unlikely to continue their membership or recommend the association to others.
20. © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page 20 For Your Association Affiliate programs provide great benefits to your leadership team and support your mission and promises made to your members by: • Continually providing value-add benefits to your members • Providing opportunities for new non-dues recurring revenues • Improving loyalty for existing members • Attracting new members • Increasing your Trade Association's brand awareness in your field You’ll want to find a program that offers you the ability to reach out and help your members succeed—but make sure you choose wisely. One way to make sure the program makes sense is to decide if your own company could benefit from what it is offering. Then, try it out yourself to see if it is something that you are comfortable promoting to your members. If yours is like most Trade Associations, your leadership is busy with overall membership responsibilities. You need to find an affiliate program that requires little to no resources on your part.
21. © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page How to Know What Your Members Need Just ask them! You already know that you won't survive without regular communication between the association and the membership. Reaching out for their input is always the best way to remain relevant to them. Email – Use a strategic email that includes a link to a survey asking no more than 5 questions about your members' needs and wants. Don't be afraid to ask pointed questions. A number of quality free survey tools are readily available; such as Survey Monkey or Zoho Survey, or may already be built into your association management software. Social Sites – There are so many ways the internet allows you to reach your members today. If you have already created a Facebook or LinkedIn page or use other social tools, try using one or more of these instant forms of communication to engage and obtain feedback from your membership. Why not start a discussion group or address the topic of “need” on your blog? Text Messages – What Millenial is ever without their phone? They are always at the ready to provide feedback and opinions. Why not try SMS with a quick question like, “If you could clone yourself today, what one task would you have the clone do?” Many research articles advise that the best time to reach out is 11 a.m. between Tuesday and Thursday. 21 communicate with your members
22. © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page Networking Meetings – Why not include this as an agenda topic in your next gathering? It shows that you are concerned for your members' success, and provides the personal touch that is so important for engagement and retention. Research the Research If you prefer not to go directly to your members, there are tons of 17 surveys and research documents available online that will help you understand the general needs of small business owners. 18 The majority of the articles identify these areas as the top challenges: 1. Finances – financial speed bumps and lack of access to funding 2. Employees - payroll, compliance, training, recruiting, and retention 3. Time - just not enough of it The recurring theme throughout all of these articles is, “your members want to sell more, provide better services for their customers, and grow their business.” That’s what they do best—but it's not always easy to do when payroll is looming and HR issues are taking up precious time and resources. Partnering with a company that offers quality tools created at group rates is something that the Trade Association can do for their members to relieve some of the stress of their everyday tasks, and fits in with the five strategies we’ve outlined in this eBook. 22
23. © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page Summary To sum it all up, making your members happy ensures the success of your association, which in turn helps keep your members' businesses prosperous. We wrote this book to help your Trade Association gain solid footing into meeting its critical mission moving into the future. And of course, we also did it to increase our opportunity to show you how offering our unique Small Business Productivity Suite, EXTO, can benefit both the Trade Association and your members. EXTO holds the key to bringing real value to your Association and can simplify your members' lives ... and yours! Please take a minute to read on and learn just a bit more about EXTO. Then, access our web page created just for Trade Associations (www.GrowthCorpAlliance.com/associations) or, better yet – reach out to us by phone or email to learn more about how partnering with us will bring great rewards to all. Phone: 844.537.0329 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 23 No money or resources needed from your association Incredibly low-cost to your members
24. © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page Serve Your Members & Grow Your Revenues EXTO's Small Business Productivity Suite EXTO is specifically designed to simplify your small business members' HR- and employee-related needs. EXTO provides businesses with a distinct advantage that will help them run more efficiently, productively, and profitably. EXTO even includes a full- service payroll management system—all from a single dashboard! It’s amazingly affordable because it is offered as a membership-based program, with no long-term commitments or contracts to bind your members. Although, once they start using EXTO, they’ll never want to stop! EXTO delivers: • A complete, superior-rated Human Resources Information System with a self-service Employee Portal - included FREE • Streamlined payroll processing -- included FREE • Payroll administration • Direct deposit and check-cutting services • Federal and State tax filings • W-2 management • Perks, including national & local discounts -- included FREE • Full, live, VIP expert support—no Trade Association resources are required • A turnkey marketing plan and tools for your Trade Association— just plug and play • Opportunities to brand the system with your association's logo and messaging 24 The perfect partner for Trade Associations What’s the member’s cost? The low monthly membership fee is just $99 for each member’s company - which even includes payroll processing for up to 5 employees!* *Just $2 per additional employee per payroll period What’s the association’s cost? Absolutely nothing!
25. © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page Get Started Today www.GrowthCorpAlliance.com/associations or call for a demo now: 1.844.537.0329 25 EXTO offers a unique advantage to Trade Associations at no cost - using no association resources. Find out more about how EXTO can add value for your members and grow your Trade Association’s revenue!
26. © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page Appendix About UsAbout GrowthCorp Alliance GrowthCorp Alliance was founded by a tenured group of experienced business professionals with like minds, interests, and ethics. Our passionate personalities and backgrounds instantly came together like chocolate and peanut butter. Having all been small business owners at some point in our careers, we fully understand the frustrations, challenges, and excitement that comes with running a small enterprise. This is where our vision began. With more than 13 continuous years of experience within the talent management, software, payroll processing, PEO, ASO, benefits, training, and recruiting industries, we've had the opportunity to work hands-on with numerous large-scale enterprise organizations, as well as thousands of small businesses. About EXTO EXTO provides core functionality to meet the needs of small businesses, all in one tidy package with an easy-to-use dashboard. EXTO allows small business owners to focus on growing their business and leave the everyday, mundane tasks to us. Proven and 100% secure, EXTO is a fully-integrated HRIS that provides a host of benefits, including payroll management, employee self- service, perks and discounts, health and wellness programs, and the ability for the small business owner to advertise to both B2B and B2C via online marketing. EXTO even allows small business owners to provide their employees with excellent benefit programs, including a health and wellness center, to reduce employee turnover. The generously cost-effective monthly membership makes EXTO an extremely affordable productivity tool that no small business should be without! 26
27. © 2015 growthcorpalliance.com | 844.537.0329 | Page Appendix Sources 1. Online Source http://knowledge.wildapricot.com/display/membership/2014+Small+Membership+Survey+- +Executive+Summary 2. Online Source http://www.wildapricot.com/blogs/newsblog/2014/08/12/15-ideas-for-non-dues-revenue 3. Online Source http://www.csae.com/Resources/Articles-Tools/View/ArticleId/1854/Growing-Associations-Through-Non-Dues- Revenue-Is-It-Time-to-Re-Think-Your-Business-Model 4. Online Source http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/03/07/millennials-in-adulthood/ 5. Online Source http://www.wmfc.org/uploads/GenerationalDifferencesChart.pdf 6. Online Source http://casefoundation.org/resource/millennial-impact-report/ 7. Print Source Small Business Owner Report, Bank of America, Fall 2014 8. Online Source http://quickbooks.intuit.com/r/marketing/5-ways-that-joining-a-trade-association-can-help-you-boost-business/ 9. Online Source http://www.statista.com/statistics/220371/single-most-important-problem-for-small-businesses-in-the-us/ 10. Online Source https://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/federal-compliance-contacts-and-resources 11. Online Source http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/solutions-managing-your-practice/coding-billing- insurance/hipaahealth-insurance-portability-accountability-act/hipaa-violations-enforcement.page? 12. Online Source https://www.osha.gov/law-regs.html 13. Online Source http://workforces.aflac.com/download/pdf/archive/z130237a_awr_smallco_fs_2013.pdf 14. Online Source http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/29/2/304.abstract 15. Online Source http://www.business2community.com/startups/embracing-cultural-diversity-in-a-small-business-environment- 0277532 16. Online Source https://sparkbusinessiq.com/article/diversity-will-help-small-business-innovate-thrive/ 17. Online Source http://smallbiztrends.com/2015/04/3-challenges-small-business-owners-facee.html 18. Online Source http://www.smbceo.com/2015/08/03/5-challenges-faced-by-small-businesses-in-2015/ 27
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