Members do better in business

When the economy is down, association memberships are sometimes left to run out as members choose to spend money in other areas. However, a new study puts a spotlight on the business practices of members versus nonmembers - and the results may make nonmembers reconsider.

Consumer Specialists released results from a survey about remodelers who are members of the National Association of The Remodeling Industry versus nonmembers. According to the research, "the average NARI member contractor business exceeds industry norms, employing more people, having higher sales volumes and averaging more sales per employee." The release also points out that time in business was the same between NARI and non-NARI members.

NARI member Michael Anschel, principal, Otogawa-Anschel Design-Build in Minneapolis says businesses that join memberships like NARI are already looking for growth, tools, education and support. 

"I joined NARI after being in business for a few years and initially benefited from the network of experienced remodelers and the education seminars that were offered. Competing in their awards programs and attending conferences I acquired a number of lessons that were then applied to the business. I served on the board and put a fair amount of energy into growing and improving the organization, and then I stopped being very engaged. Today we are members, but I don’t take advantage of their services or attend meetings. Membership is no longer a benefit but a responsibility," Anschel says.

Gwen Biasi, CAE, director of marketing and communications, NARI, says the fact that members do better versus nonmembers is a combination of peer-to-peer networking and learning, and the resources provided by NARI. "We've also been creating content since this downturn started to assist with keeping businesses afloat and improve members' ability to compete. We take unique ideas from members across the country and make case studies out of them, to give other members ideas for their own survival," she says.

Anschel adds that industry membership is important, especially to growing or struggling companies. "I do think association membership is an important responsibility that should be shared, and all of the companies should be pushing for an ever increasing portion of the industry to join," he says.

Biasi says NARI plans to do more research to understand the data better.

Are you a member of NARI or another industry association? Why or why not?