Joining A Trade Association Can Help Boost Business

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I get it. You see the the headline on this story, the PSAI logo, the title alongside my picture and you think, “The staff leader of our trade association is cheerleading for trade associations. Imagine my surprise.” Then you resist the urge to roll your eyes.

So OK, don’t listen to me. There are hundreds of PSAI member companies worldwide and most of their owners would be glad to tell you why it is worthwhile to be connected through the PSAI. Here is some of what you would probably hear:

“Customers notice, and my business grows.” Unless you are the only portable restroom company within 100 miles, you have to stand out – in a good way – from “the other guys.” Joining the PSAI comes with the right to use the association logo on your marketing materials and website. Members will tell you associating your company with the PSAI is a positive difference in the eyes of customers who are trying to figure out what company to use. Membership also puts your firm on the PRO Finder – the PSAI’s online company locater – so customers know who and where you are. The PSAI office can also refer business to you.

“I like not going it alone.” Trade associations like the PSAI give small businesses far more knowledge and influence than they could gain by themselves. Sharing experiences with other business owners you meet through the organization, and the information you can glean from various association sources (newsletters, training courses, standards, website, etc.), are invaluable. They can save you time, help you avoid costly mistakes, illuminate trends and inspire new ideas to grow your business.

“It’s where I learned to love the competition.” Sometimes people avoid trade associations so they don’t have to deal with their competitors or risk giving ideas away. In reality, groups like the PSAI can lead to important collaborations and generate new opportunities. For example, companies A and B may compete in some ways – but may also discover by partnering they can bid on contracts neither can handle alone or refer jobs to one another when the fit is better. Again, business flourishes when new possibilities are seized.

“Better us than them.” Somebody makes the rules. Trade associations like the PSAI play a crucial role in bringing the expertise of actual business owners to the development of standards and best practices rather than leaving it to lawmakers with no experience in the industry. Association-led certification programs, training programs and standards development can help your company attain excellence, and they often make a big difference in the degree to which government intervenes in an industry.


Finally, PSAI members will tell you: “It’s fun.” Company leaders have to meet with their suppliers and get a certain number of education hours per year. Why not take care of both those things and have some laughs with other people who “get” the portable sanitation business at the same time? Join us - we hope to see you soon!


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