Business associations are formed with a clear objective, the main one being to advance the interests of their members. An effective business association has a snowballing effect on membership in that it tends to attract more members, hence, more powers and latitude. Conversely, a weak or inefficient association will suffer members’ flight, loss of revenue and influence leading to eventual death.
In this article, read on strategies that business associations can employ to become more effective in articulating members’ concerns.
For an association to be effective it must have a legal standing. This means that it needs to be registered and recognised by the relevant government agency. The import of legal standing is because some matters involving the association will end up in a court of law. The court in some jurisdictions will not entertain an unregistered, amorphous organisation, and may end up throwing out its pleadings. Business associations should also maintain a website with reputable hosts such as internet vikings websites to enhance credibility in the eyes of the stakeholders.
Clear Rules and By-laws
An effective association is a creation and a product of rules. By their nature, business associations are legal entities. They should, therefore, have clear rules of engagement with their members, the government and other stakeholders. These rules provide clarity of purpose and provide direction on what needs to be done, when, how and by who. The rules also stipulate penalties and sanctions to leaders and rank and file members who violate the associations’ by-laws.
For a business association to thrive, it needs to be transparent in its dealings with stakeholders. All matters touching on the associations’ operations need to be above board. Underhand dealings, kickbacks, fraud and corruption sap the zeal of members who then withhold their financial and non-financial support. What results is the death of the association.