This is a hard decision which should take much thought and investigation before laying out your cash!
First put together a marketing budget and stick to it!
Our budget has things like networking, giveaways, vendor shows, sponsoring for charity events, marketing person for our social media etc.
Break it down on where you will spend your dollars, that may change for you in 6 months so you will want to review it and see what is working and what is clearly not working.
When I am interested in a group I visit 3 times, I ask 3-4 people from the group for coffee and learn more about them and what they like about the group, the value it brings and how long they have been attending.
This will give you a sense of what you are getting into or not getting into! it's a great use of your time because you are networking!
Their are benefits in joining groups that cost money!
Members attend more often
There are rules to follow so that their is value take ways at every meeting
Your able to give a presentation on a rotating schedule
You ask for what you are looking for and are expected to help other members by giving referrals in return.
You can build a strong relationship ,meeting with the same people weekly and
meeting outside the group is required
The group is updated weekly on how the referrals are going and the total sales that were made.
Joining a Chamber of Commerce
The cost to be in a chamber is reasonable IF they are an active chamber and IF you get involved. It is a great place to build your name in a community and build relationships. It takes time but it's worth it! I have been a director on the Fairport Perinton Chamber of Commerce board for 5 years now and it has been a wonderful experience. We know each other well and I have hired several businesses in the chamber as they have used our Golden Hellos as well!