It’s common for most independent shop owners to feel powerless while facing the industries’ toughest and largest competitors. Perhaps you may believe there are no solutions to your business’ problems? Or maybe you want to take on the industry but you’re not sure how to start?
The good news is that you don’t have to do it alone. Joining a trade association is the best way to gain leverage for your business and access to effective business strategies. More specifically, an automotive and trucking trade association is the perfect opportunity to meet like- minded industry leaders who have the knowledge, resources and autonomy to keep small businesses like yours thriving.
Here are some helpful tips on joining automotive and trucking trade associations.
Assess Your Business
Before you dive in, assess your brand and make sure that what you want for your business is what’s best for your business. Too many shop owners try take on what they’re not prepared to handle and eventually get lost in the mix. Take the time to assess your objectives and ask yourself why you want to join an association – is it for profitability, knowledge or both? Once you have the answers to these questions, you’ll have a better understanding of which route you should take.
By now, you know the importance of networking and what it can do for your brand. But it’s also important to be mindful of WHO you network with as everything you do is an extension of your brand. As a shop owner, your main objective should be to improve the standards of the automotive or trucking industry. You can start small and find local groups within your community that share the same objectives as you. When you’re active in your community and network with its leaders, you will not only enhance your brand, but also help improve the quality and reputation of the industry. This will certainly go a long way to the major associations.
Attend Trade Shows
You’ve’ heard the infamous saying, “It’s all about who you know,” but make no mistake, what you know is just as important. Research trade shows within your local area and walk the floors to see which businesses and associations are meeting the demands of small business owners. After all, the more you know, the more confidence you’ll have in choosing the right association.
To learn more about trade associations here are some links to the top automotive and trucking associations.
Automotive Service Association (ASA) here
American Trucking Association (ATA) here
Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP) here