The Membership ROI

The Membership ROI

When you run a trade association, attracting new members, particularly those who have never been part of an association before, is a challenge. Most membership organizations approach this problem by offering a bunch of no-brainer discounts on services or products to entice new members.

We’re no different. Our portfolio of incredible companies offering member discounts is capacious, and the savings easily offset the cost of membership for most. But for many of our members, that’s as far as their ASA involvement goes.

If you consider the massive inefficiency of reselling a $500 average membership each year, it should quickly dawn on you that a great deal of a members’ dues in both the affiliate and national organizations could be spent ensuring next year’s dues. But this cycle is a waste of resources that could be put to better use.

Active members of ASA know that the real value of membership cannot be calculated on a spreadsheet. I’d wager each of us makes at least one decision a year that costs us more than our annual dues but provides far less return on investment. The real investment you need to make in ASA isn’t dues. Active involvement will make your investment pay off.

For example, if you buy a bicycle to get in better shape and never ride it, your money has been wasted. ASA membership is just like that. You pay so we can create all of these wonderful programs. But if you don’t get out of the shop and attend local and national meetings and events, that sign we sent you has become expensive. I hear so many people say, “The shop will lose money if I’m not there.” This attitude makes a good argument for why you need to start networking and discover ways you can work more on your business than in it. Here’s a list of things you can get involved in by simply showing up:

• Chapter meetings
• Local training events
• ASA annual business meeting
• ASA Washington, D.C., Fly-In (ask anyone who’s participated about how valuable this is)
• ASA PAC fund (our Washington, D.C. office, with your help, does a fantastic job supporting politicians that support small business and auto repair.)
• NACE (national collision trade show and education event)
• CARS (national mechanical/management trade show and education event)
• Affiliate trade shows (management and technical-training events)
• ASA members are also represented on the following boards and organizations:
• Automotive Management Institute (AMI)
• Collision Industry Conference (CIC)
• National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)
• National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF)
• National Automotive Technician’s Education Foundation (NATEF)
• Aftermarket Telematics Task Force
• Women’s Board (Car Care Council)

Our members, operations committees, staff and board of directors are involved in all of these organizations. Take the time to meet any of the great people who represent you. I know you’ll find something you can learn from them or teach them. In the words of Freddy Mercury, “Get on your bike and ride!”