I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Cliodhna O’Byrne from the South Dublin Chamber about the benefits of getting involved in the Chamber and indeed the South Dublin Chamber’s Networking Opportunities.
I started out by asking Cliodhna why businesses get involved in the South Dublin Chamber. She said it’s for two primary reasons:
Cliodhna continued, ‘It’s a conduit to like minded members, who get the opportunity to talk about challenges and issues. Now more than ever people need to be connected. They need to stay up to date with policies, grant information, customs, particularly in light of the impending Brexit and so much more.
Membership has to be relevant for each company, so I work to find out their issues and work out best way of helping them.’
There are a few different options for companies wishing to join the South Dublin Chamber:
- SME, i.e. small to medium enterprises
- Start ups
- Non profit organisations
- 1-5 Employees €300
- 6-30 Employees €450
- 31-100 Employees €800
There are also options for companies with more than 100 employees, for corporate membership and for patron membership.
How the Chamber Supports Its Members
The Chamber is heavily involved in lobbying government for business supports and periodically run surveys around business needs. For example, surveys have been done on digital frameworks, CSR requirements, training assessments for businesses in an ever evolving and dynamic environment plus much more.
At a more tactical level, businesses are supported by the following services from the Chamber:
- Promotion – The Chamber has a quarterly newsletter where members are able to submit articles for inclusion. They also have multiple social media channels where they post updates from the Chamber but also on behalf of their members. This has a great reach within the region. Updates might be about jobs, events, promotions, special offers, new products, awards or other achievements.
- CRM system – A recent investment was made in a CRM system called ChamberMaster. All members now have a profile up on the website and have the opportunity of getting their own login details so that they can keep it up to date with their news.
- Certs of Origin – For businesses in the export business, the Chamber offers a Certs of Origin service, which is local and speedy.
- Corporate Social Responsibility – Quarterly meetings are run to help businesses connect with the local communities and charities.
- Training – They work very closely with the South Dublin LEO (Local Enterprise Office) and offer a broad spectrum of training, often offered by members of the Chamber who work in the training space.
- Awards – The Chamber operates an annual award celebration with a variety of categories that local businesses can enter to publicise and promote their businesses. It’s a wonderful celebration and a fantastic way to benchmark your business againt your peers and competition.
South Dublin Chamber’s Networking Opportunities
Ultimately getting the best out of any Chamber is about getting connected. As an SME it can be lonely and there is no way that companies can do everything or know how to do everything.
The networking groups help connect, support, promote, advise and offer general cameraderie which is definitely needed in these challenging times.
There are a number of networking opportunities available for members, including:
- Breakfast Briefings
- Seminars / Training
- Business Awards
- Christmas Lunch
- 3 B2B Networks:
- Lucan B2B – every 2nd Thursday, 7.30am – 8.45am in the Lucan Spa Hotel
- Tallaght B2B (formerly Citywest B2B) – held in the Maldron Hotel Tallaght every 2nd Friday. Also from 7.30am – 8.45am
- Online B2B – first Wednesday of every month at 10am for 1 hour (ish).
Format of the Networking Groups
At the networking events, members and guests have 60 seconds to talk about their business. One member gets a ten minute slot to talk more in depth about their business.
Members discuss who they are looking to speak to, what referrals they are looking for and then we also share all of the positives from the week prior, e.g. how many 1-2-1s have been done, business won, new contacts made, and also any general and positive events that have happened to the business.
There is also an education slot where one member shares a business tip or useful piece of knowledge to share with the group, so there is some collective learning.
Each of the groups also have a Whatsapp group where news is shared, e.g. if someone posted an article, the link is posted with a request to share, like, tag, comment and this helps the digital and virtual networking.
Guests are welcome to visit the Chamber networking events two times to check them out and see if involvement in the Chamber in general would be suitable for their business.
Getting the Best Out of The Chamber
- Attend the networking events on a regular basis
- Ensure you get on the presentation schedule a few times a year
- Keep the Chamber up to date with your news so they can promote your business out while you are sleeping
- Have two or three contacts per company listed. Often someone leaves and the Chamber isn’t informed, so they can’t update someone else in the company about all the upcoming opportunities.
This is a business network formed with the aim of providing members with an opportunity to create, improve and maximise business relationships with like–minded business people to increase and improve their business.
Referrals and introductions are passed among members as a result of networking and understanding each other’s products and services. It is about improving your business as well as a network organisation.
Schedule a Visit
If you’d like to visit one of the networking groups, reach out to Cliodhna O’Byrne at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will connect you with the Group Chair.
I am the current Chair of the Citywest B2B network on Friday mornings, so you are most welcome to visit and connect with us. We are a vibrant and dynamic bunch of business owners who help each other succeed each week.
Pop a note to me at email@example.com and I’ll send you on the Zoom invite!
Remember: as it’s all online, there are no geographical boundaries, so it’s a great opportunity to pop along and say hi!
To Find Out More About the South Dublin Chamber
Staying Connected With NetworkingJean
If you run a networking group and you’d like me to do a profile on it, get in touch! Email me today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s keep the #networking conversation going! You can join my mailing list too and I’d love to have you on board.
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