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What value does an association offer in this day and age?

The headline benefit that all members of a trade body will value is very likely to be the right to use the association’s logo. This is an important way in which quality-led companies can promote themselves as such. But this right must also come with credible benefits and activity that make the logo meaningful.

There are three types of trade body – ones that provide benefits to members, ones that lobby on behalf of members, and ones that promote members through vehicles such as an online directory and social media. In order for a trade association to provide good value to its members, and that important credibility, you will see strong activity in one, if not all of these areas.

For many SMEs doing business never gets easier, with red tape and admin tasks sometimes feeling crippling. The best trade bodies add value by providing a one stop shop for members for a range of benefits that help them work smarter not harder.

Access to business helplines, templates, training and the latest industry information, as well as networking events, often feature and provide value.

During periods such as Covid-19 and Brexit, the importance of the information that a trade body supplies is amplified. However, a good trade body will in any case constantly disseminate relevant information and act as forum for innovation, industry standards and best practice. Richard Catt, ceo

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