Joining your local chamber of commerce is a free and easy way to market, promote and brand your salon, and become popular in your community.
For Lisa Brooking, President of True Colors Tanning in Jeffersonville, IN, joining her local chamber of commerce has been an invaluable business-building tool. “My goal was to make connections with fellow businesspeople,” said Lisa. “Through my membership, I met the people who would later become our attorney, banker and accountant, and we still do business with them. The experience also allowed me to network with many other local owners, which has been extremely beneficial to my sales.”
After her initial successes, Lisa continued her chamber involvement and it helped her brand True Colors Tanning. “One of my competitors is a large, national franchise that spends a lot on radio and print advertising,” she said. “Being with the chamber allows me to brand my business directly to create a deeper, more personal connection. The people I’ve met through the chamber come to us for tanning and they tell their friends and family about us.”
Being a chamber member gives Lisa the opportunity to address people’s misconceptions about indoor tanning. “During a golf outing, I met two women who were former indoor tanners,” she said. “I asked them why they stopped and they said they were frightened by the anti-tanning hype. I explained to them the importance of moderate tanning, and now they tan with us.”
The opportunity to give back to her community is what Lisa finds the most rewarding aspect of her chamber experience. “Because so many people see us actively doing things to help others, it has built credibility and validity for our business,” she said.
Lisa opened her first True Colors facility in February 2003, and her venture’s growth kept pace with the expanding tanning industry. Today, True Colors is a 10-store chain offering five UV tanning levels, custom airbrush tanning and sunless spray booths.
A 14-year industry veteran, John "Ribby" Ribner has written hundreds of
articles for IST Magazine and, as Director of Editorial Content, has also
helped guide the publication's evolution. Ribby is a graduate of Central
Michigan University's journalism program and has brought many years of newspaper reporting experience to his position of Head Writer. He is also the author of three novels, "Legacy of the Bear," "Prophecy of the Bear" and "World So Dark."
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