Associations that have adopted business like behavior are succeeding while those that have not will continue to struggle. Which camp does your association fall into?
Hello and welcome to JP Moery’s Association Hustle Podcast. President of The Moery Company, JP’s mission is to arm today’s associations with insight and strategy to thrive and a progressively complex and competitive business landscape. 21st century associations must move forward with a little bit of hustle and revenue development at their core.
Associations are adopting business like behavior and are operating more and more like corporations.
Some people, including myself, have said over time that associations should be acting and performing more like business-oriented groups. Now, we’re starting to see more and more associations changing their mode of operations.
What does that mean for the consultants, members, and staff members?
Shorter timeframe to make decision. For example, new contracts are being negotiated and signed at lightning speed because association leaders have a desperate need for services; they need to change the trajectory of their business and they’re ready to make decisions quicker than ever before.
The pace of decision making for associations has decreased considerably. Organizational patience is also shorter. They want things done tomorrow and are putting pressure on their partners and staff members to execute quickly and efficiently. Association CEOs are even more results oriented.
Staff consolidation has reduced association’s ability to carry out the necessary changes. Reduction has occurred for multiple reasons, such as financial reality or the need for new skill sets. If you’re not able to adapt from in-person meetings to virtual there’s not much that we can do for you.
This means that associations have to get out of the gate quickly, launch, and start doing the work. Don’t wait. If you’re an associations consultant then I advise that you do not wait for an internal staff member to slow things down because you’re going to be the one held accountable and expected to perform stringently. We’re acting faster for quicker results; we need them now. We may find ourselves in an environment where we’re having to step on some toes to get things done.
Association CEOs are looking for deep expertise and advice. Sometimes, consulting feels like we’re building a watch needing a lot of data, information, and backstory. The work to do so serves us well to do that; we need to do the background work. However, ultimately, they want us to tell them what the shot is. The association leaders that I’m speaking with want to know exactly what to do and what to do now. This is encouraging as we approach what I think is the year of the association.
Here’s why I say that:
Associations have demonstrated why their existence is essential. While industries were falling apart and failing, what happened? Associations stepped in and helped their industries and members with government relations. In many cases, for the first time ever, associations secured specific aid and assistance through the CARE Act, PPP loans, and through other types of relief. This was the ultimate culling of the herd.
A lot of associations express that they are in the government relations and influence business. However, for those that did not deliver, their members will have second thoughts when it comes to continuing to be involved with them in the short- or long-term future.
Associations have delivered more programs, education, and content for their industry than ever before, and in many different formats. We’ve seen the best content ever come out in the history of the industry.
You will have the best return on investment and efforts as you go into a new membership season. You will sell new – or retain – members because of all the value you brought to the table this year.
On the other side of the spectrum, if you couldn’t demonstrate government relations or influence, what the heck’s been going on? What have you built up over the last several decades? Were you delivering your expertise on Zoom calls? Or, did you complain about the platform and avoid it? Did you call it a fad? Did you say these things were not going to stik?
Did you say the same thing about social media as it was becoming a powerful mainstream platform? Did you wait to produce virtual meetings, hoping for the next live event – whenever those are going to happen again? Did you say people are not going to participate, that you we’re above it and you were not going to deliver to your industry, that you’re not desperate. If you behave that way, good luck to you. Let me refer you to a competitor that will sell your memberships and renew for commission only because they are desperate for any type business.
However, if you delivered – like I think many of you did in terms of influence, advocacy, programming, speaking and engaging more members than ever before – this is your year, the year of the association. If you adopt bottom line tactics that we’ve been talking about on this podcast for a long time, then you will see success.
Hey, got a special offer for you, my friends! If you want a free book, Association Hustle, I’ve got a couple extra copies. By the way, there’s going be another one. Think about all the content that we’ve put out this year? We’ve got some lessons learned that we’re going to pass along to you after this pandemic is over.
Want a copy? Send me an email and I’ll send you a complimentary copy of Association Hustle. I might even throw a Moery Company lid in there for you as well. See you next week.
We hope you enjoyed this edition of JP Moery’s Association Hustle Podcast. We’d love to connect with you. Check out our blog at moerycompany.com and subscribe to our weekly newsletter. You can also connect with JP on LinkedIn and Twitter at @JPMoery, as well as The Moery’s Company’s Instagram and Facebook page. To purchase a copy of JP’s book, Association Hustle: Top Strategies for Association Growth, go to JPMoery.com.
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