What is an association management company? and how do you start running an association company? The number of associations related to different industries and interests is phenomenal.
Many of these associations cannot afford to hire (or do not have the volume to warrant hiring) one or more full-time employees to handle the day to day administrative duties involved with running the association.
Associations are now outsourcing all of these administrative duties to an association management firm.
What does an association management company do?
The duties that associations want to take care of are administrative. Common tasks include billing, bookkeeping, and accounting, taking minutes at meetings, collection of annual dues, association event promotion, website maintenance, and distribution of weekly or monthly newsletters.
Since these tasks will be repetitive and not very time-consuming, you are able to handle the association management for multiple associations, and because the tasks will remain similar between associations, you will be able to work much more efficiently.
The key to a successful association management company is organization. Make sure that you are always on time with your work.
If you don’t keep yourself organized or you take on too much work, you increase the chance that you might not perform up to the associations’ expectations of your firm.
This could result in the termination of a management contract and ultimately will affect the professionalism and overall appeal of your organization’s services.
What skills do you need to run an association management company?
Excellent organization and communication skills are necessary for starting this type of business. Other skills that would be an asset include knowledge of accounting, creative writing capabilities, and other basic administrative skills.
How much do you need to start an association management company?
Since you are providing a service that has no inventory, your initial costs will be minimal. The cost to start this type of business ranges from $1,000 to $10,000.
This type of business typically can be run out of your home, which eliminates the overhead costs of setting up an office for your management firm.
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How many employees do you need to start an association management company?
One person can run this business part-time to begin. This is a perfect idea for someone working from home.
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Does association management have an international potential
This business does not have strong international potential due to the nature of the service provided. Common tasks include taking minutes at weekly or monthly meetings or attending other functions held by the association.
This will require your business to be located in the surrounding area of the association, so this business has a more regional appeal.
Of course, if this is a national association, most meetings may be online, with one or two a year being face-to-face with everyone flying to a common location.
If this is the case, the business could have national or international appeal.
Association management marketing techniques
- Participating in newsgroups and discussion forums related to your target audience would be a great way to increase the traffic to your website.
- Launch a strategic banner advertising campaign on websites frequented by your target market.
- Develop links from as many websites, directories, and meta-indexes related to your target audience as possible.
- Participating in mail lists and discussion groups related to different industries and associations with a cleverly designed signature file would be a great way to generate awareness for your services.
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With all your clients, make sure to have a detailed contract that clearly outlines all the services and duties you will be providing.
The contract should indicate important dates and contact lists, and someone within the association should be appointed to provide you with all the necessary information and approvals to run the association efficiently.
In addition to handling the daily administrative tasks for associations, you could also provide your clients with promotional services.
This would help to promote the association’s membership benefits to prospective members and would also increase the awareness of the association.
Providing a newsletter circulated to association members where you may feature paying advertisers is a chance for additional income.