To register my business with the Better Business Bureau will cost me $310 (CDN) per year. Once I do this I would add the BBB logo to my website to add trust for potential customers. But is it worth the money? I realize that it is a minimal fee, and that one extra customer generated because of this would pay for it. But what do you think? Have any web designers here registered with BBB?
Many customers believe in the BBB and the BBB logo can help with closing a deal.
That being said, many local BBB's are just in it for the money. Any business with the $310 can join and the BBB does little in return.
True, most customers give more credence to a BBB membership than it deserves because they are not aware of how little it actually does.
I've used them and I believe it gives some of my customers a good feeling. What most people don't know is anyone can report a problem to the BBB and they'll record it against the company whether that company is a member or not. So in reality the fee you pay is for use of the logo, some "spam bait" link on the local BBB web site, and a squishy feeling for some customers. I dropped it after 2 years.
Does Canada have a Chamber of Commerce type of organization?
The ones around me charge less than $300 a year; one less than $200. Most of the time you will get one or more entries on their member directory - think yellow pages; online and offline. You also get great networking opportunities. I worked with a chamber for over a year and members do often try to do business with other members.
Like the BBB, I think non-members see a chamber membership as some sort of legitimacy - even though anyone can join.
I should mention that membership dues are usually based on the number of employees and type of business. The numbers I mentioned are for a sole proprietorship in a service industry.
My company is not registered with the BBB, however we (based in Canada) are a member of a local Chamber of Commerce and have been pleased with the affiliation. It's true that pretty much anyone with the annual fee can join, so it certainly isn't exclusive.
However, I've landed a couple of customers since joining (6 months) and have networked sufficiently with other members to get deals on services our firm uses (i.e. printing, rental cars, group insurance, etc).
So, for us, the association with a Chamber of Commerce was well worth it.
Hope that helps
I worked at a shady company (not mine, and I didn't know this was happening until it was shut down - it was not a computer related company) for a while. They had about 2500 BBB complaints filed against them in a 3 year period.
Funny thing about the BBB...you can erase a complaint for about $300. Which the company I was working for did all the time.
Boils down to a good bribing mechanism for the BBB.
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