Toastmasters is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people improve their public speaking skills. Joining Toastmasters gives you the opportunity to learn public speaking and gain valuable leadership experience. Since Toastmasters members are often business professionals, membership allows you to network with these people. One chiropractor said he gained many patients and referrals from his Toastmasters experience and he became an excellent public speaker.
Better Business Bureau
Joining the Better Business Bureau informs your patients and others in the community that you are a responsible business. You must have been in business for at least three years, you must undergo a credit check, have no outstanding complaints against your business, and pay an annual fee, depending upon the size of your business. You may not find a local BBB in your city, and there may be little opportunity for interaction with other members.
Chamber of Commerce
1. Being a member lends you credibility.
2. Most chambers have meetings where you can network with other business owners.
3. You can find out what development projects are coming up and where new business is coming from.
4. The Chamber has lots of useful statistics and business resources you can use.
Not all cities have a Chamber of Commerce. You may need to check the local convention and visitors bureau.
Benefits of membership, according to their website:
* Affecting change within the community.
* Developing leadership skills.
* Gaining an understanding of, and having an impact on, international humanitarian issues.
* Developing relationships with community and business leaders.
Rotary membership is by invitation only, but it is certainly worth the effort. Rotarians love having members stand up and give short speeches about their businesses.
The Optimists are a service organization with an emphasis on children. Local clubs create their own service projects, including safety, scholarships, and many others. Becoming an Optimist fits nicely if you are considering running a family practice. Most cities have at least one Optimist Club. Check this link for a listing.
Junior Chamber of Commerce
The Jaycees are an international nonprofit organization for younger professionals (18 to 40). The organization is service oriented and provides opportunities for members to work on community projects and develop organizational and leadership skills. Most towns and cities have chapters.
The Junior League is committed to promoting volunteering, expanding the potential of women, and providing communities with trained, effective volunteers. There are almost 300 Junior Leagues in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. Members receive, “extensive training in leadership, organizational development, community needs assessment, strategic planning, communications, advocacy, and fundraising.”
Business Networking International
BNI bills itself as “the largest business networking organization in the world.” The group offers members the opportunity to share ideas, contacts, and business referrals.
All of these groups love having new members. They will welcome you and make sure you are kept busy. Be selective in your choice of organization. Filling your time with community service activities may leave you little time for your practice and specific marketing events.
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