Part 4 of our series on small business networking groups, Randy Gordon answers who is *not* a good fit for the Chamber.

Nate:     So what would not be a good fit for the Chamber, and why?

Randy:     Well, I think small business owners who have virtually no employees are a very difficult fit. Let’s say someone’s a beauty salon owner, or someone basically may have one employee. I think any small business owner who doesn’t have a lot of employees and has maybe one or two, that can be a difficult fit because once again, let’s get back to “How do we show value to a member that has no time to participate?”

So we can’t get that small business owner to go to a networking opportunity so they can see value. We can only do so much for them if they never leave their store. We list them in our newsletter; we list them in the annual referral guide and membership directory. And sometimes, we give every member a free email blast. So once a year, when they renew, they get a free blast.

So we can do a little bit electronically, but it’s a lot about relationships and building relationships. People want to do business with people that they know, they’ve met — these people are interesting. “I just met this new vet last week. I really like the guy. And you know what? The next time I have a problem with my dog, I may try that guy out because I really like that guy.” So I think it’s a bad fit if you can’t get out in the community.


About Randy Gordon

Randy Gordon was named President/CEO of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce in April 1994. He is a 1988 graduate of the U.S Chamber Western Institute for Organization Management at San Jose State University, former instructor at the Stanford Institute, a past member of the Board of Regents of Western Institute, a 1993 graduate from the U.S. Chamber’s Academy at Notre Dame and is currently a trustee for the National Board of the Institute.He is a 1995 graduate of Leadership Long Beach. He is a past president of the 330 member Rotary Club of Long Beach and has 29 years of perfect attendance.