Association management for businesses is the art of developing, managing and maintaining relationships with other businesses. These businesses can be in the same industry, as well as related industries. This concept is similar to networking and allows businesses to help further their own endeavors while making contacts that will help each business succeed. For the freelance professional, association management can be difficult. This is especially difficult for freelance professionals who work entirely from the comfort of their own homes. There are three major things that all freelance professionals should be doing to further their association management efforts to help bring in more clients and further their reach into areas that can bring them new business.
Join Professional Organizations
A time-tested, fairly simple way to build business associations is to join professional organizations. Many freelancers, especially those who work solely from home, turn to the online sector to find organizations to join. This is an okay idea, but isn't the best idea. Online professional organizations can help with making business contacts. However, there is something missing with these relationships, and that is the face-to-face aspect of the relationship. It is especially helpful to join local professional organizations that can help a freelancer make business contacts in the local community. This can also allow the freelancer to tap into untouched local markets in an over-saturated online business world. The local Chamber of Commerce and professional organizations can be a great place to get started.
It is also helpful to reach out to organizations that help certain business owners and freelancers. For example, some organizations help veterans start and run a business. Other organizations cater to women, minorities, individuals with special abilities and even freelancers of a particular nationality. These organizations can be online or local, but again, the local aspect can yield the most business relationships.
Hire a Professional
Freelancing can be difficult enough, especially for those freelance professionals that are just getting started. Business plans, funding, advertising and marketing all take up a majority of time. The professional is also tasked with running all of the administrative and financial aspects of the business while providing quality work product to customers. Association management is sometimes the last thing on a freelancer's mind. This is where a Business Association Management professional, like one from Duval Realty Inc., comes in. This individual or company can assist with association management to help create business relationships while the freelancer handles daily business operations. The cost for these services can be minimal when compared to the benefits the freelancer will reap professionally and financially.