There is a wide range of memberships and certifications available to businesses, and it can be challenging to prioritize which to pursue. Whether a business seeks out a small business certification, an industry-specific or regional business association membership, an IT or more general business certification– or all of the above– the costs and time commitments can add up.
So which ones to choose? While each business must consider its specific needs, resources, services, and goals, the right memberships and certifications for a business or specific team members can be well worth their weight in investment. Here are 5 specific ways it may be worth considering, continuing, or increasing the memberships and certifications of a business.
The networking benefits of industry trade associations in particular can be an enormous boon to business. Relationships are critical to success, and trade associations tend to specialize in crafting contexts for networking to flourish. Conferences and other events may even lead directly to valuable business connections and contracts– whether at the time or later down the line.
Membership may also lead to mentorship. For entrepreneurs starting or growing a business or professionals advancing in leadership, learning from the personal experiences of others may prevent common pitfalls and direct members to vital resources for success.
Training & Education
Memberships and certifications go hand in hand with professional development. Employees with the benefit of employee-paid memberships are wise to take advantage of the opportunity where possible. Bettering oneself professionally means bettering one’s company, future growth opportunities, and the industry overall.
Sometimes obtaining professional certifications can be a win-win situation for everyone. Individuals obtaining certifications have the advantage of adding to their professional tool belts while businesses gain the advantage of increasingly qualified team members. Certifications specific to the entire company can also lead to valuable educational opportunities for the team.
Marketing is about putting the company’s best foot forward and reaching a broader audience. One doesn’t generally walk into a job interview with mustard on one’s shirt and a half-done resume, expecting to land the job at the first and only interview scheduled! Likewise, companies don’t like to reach out to prospective clients or the community with a poor presentation of their businesses. Marketing is investing the time and effort to demonstrate why a business is worthy of the job and better than the competition.
Business certifications and memberships demonstrate a commitment to professionalism and best practices and often provide clients a glimpse of a company’s values. Some certifications are requirements to work with certain clients while other certifications– such as certain small business certifications— may provide financial incentives for clients to work with a company.
Current News & Trends
Memberships and certifications often help businesses stay current with emerging trends and industry news. Sometimes the challenge of setting a certification goal and rising to it leads to improved operations and procedures, increased knowledge and internal accountability, and new approaches incorporating cutting-edge advancements.
Being involved in the larger conversations within an industry and keeping up with news updates specific to the industry can provide a significant business advantage by ensuring a company stays ahead of the curve. In the receivables management industry specifically, trade associations help members prepare for regulatory changes and notify members of important updates in real-time.
Certifications and memberships don’t just enhance the reputation and best practices of a company; they enhance those of the entire industry. Legislators and regulators are watching and observing, and that’s a good thing. It isn’t just them who care. Memberships and certifications help rule-makers to see tangible evidence of specific efforts, controls, and measures a company and industry takes toward self-regulation and consumer protection.
Conversely, we as members of the ARM industry must also be watching and observing. Recognizing and addressing key areas of opportunity before they become a major problem or misunderstanding can benefit all parties. Representatives want people to pay attention; they can’t properly represent a group that won’t use its voice. Sometimes, intentions are well-meaning but lacking thorough understanding that should be provided by members of the industry themselves. Staying involved in industry associations helps businesses stay abreast of how and when to advocate, and united in such efforts.
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About Receivables Info
The ReceivablesInfo team is led by receivables management industry veterans who wanted to create a website for the industry, by the industry. Their goal is to provide a voice to high-quality debt buyers, collection agencies, law firms, and industry veterans to share information about their businesses and their place within the marketplace and the community. The website provides relevant news alerts, articles, videos, and other receivables-related information to industry partners and colleagues around the industry and the globe. Receivables Info is also home to financial education resources for consumers through series like Money Chat.
The information contained in this article is meant to serve as general guidance for entry-level to mid-level ARM industry professionals and is not meant to serve as comprehensive business, legal, or financial advice.