Are You Listed in the Right Business Category?
What do you do? How would you describe your business? What category do you fall into?
While every business is unique and we always resist the notion of being pigeon-holed, the fact remains that data drives how people find us. Data needs to be organized and organization requires a system. The Chamber website and directory uses “business categories” to organize businesses into groups that customers can query and sort and search.
Assigning your business to a specific category is one of the most important aspects of managing your online presence at the Chamber. It is also one of the few parts of your profile that requires you to go through staff to change. It is worth taking a few minutes to check your categories and make sure you are in the right ones. And, if you are a member, you can be listed in more than one category - which can be critically important if you have multiple product lines.
For example, we have a category for restaurants and a separate category for caterers. If you are a member that runs a restaurant that does both, you’ll want to check your listing. You most likely are already assigned to “Restaurants.” But are you also listed as a caterer? If not, let us know so we can fix that for you. Do you offer retail items for sale at your fitness studio? Enough that you want to be listed as a retailer as well as a fitness club? Let us know.
Business categories are important for two reasons: (1) Most importantly, it lets consumers find you when they search our listings. With over 100,000 searches of our directory annually, you want to make sure you have the right category tags. Don't miss an opportunity for customers to find you. (2) It also is important that we at the Chamber office can find you. If we have a communication about an event or a legislative issue or change in local law, we’ll send the information to businesses in the appropriate business categories. If you are not in the right category, you could miss important information. For example, if you recently added apartments to your building that previously was just office or store-front, let us know. By adding you to "Property Management," you'll be on the email list if the Village asks us to send a need-to-know communication from the Building Department or the Housing Authority.
How do you check what business categories you are in?
- Visit our website and find your ePage.
- Under your name, in gray font, you’ll see your currently-assigned business categories listed horizontally. There should be at least one business-specific category. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT. Chamber members can be assigned to multiple categories, at the member’s request. Non-Chamber members are assigned to only one business-specific category.
- Many businesses are also assigned to a location category, such at Oak Park Arts District, or River Forest - Lake St, for example. This is a work-in-progress. If you look at your listing and see that you are not assigned to a location yet, let us know via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- You may also be assigned to a “merchant association” (aka “business district" in Oak Park) and you may be assigned to one or more groupings such as women-owned business, veteran-owned or minority-owned business. These are optional categories and self-reported descriptors for all businesses, member and nonmember. Let us know if you want to be added to one or more of these categories. We depend on the honor system for this one.
How do you see the various categories available?
- Easy! Go to our website and click on “Find a Local Business.” You’ll be connected to our main Business Directory Page. There are over 250 categories organized into 28 groupings, or “Quicklinks.”
- Note that "Quicklinks" are the categories used for the annual printed member listing and community guide (Answer Book). Members are listed in one category only (their primary category) in the printed listing. Nonmembers are not listed in the annual print guide.
How do you change or add categories to your business listing?
- Only staff with access to the member database can make this happen, so send us an email at email@example.com. Let us know what change you want to make.
- Note that members can add multiple business categories, of which one must be designated the “primary” category. Nonmembers are limited to one primary business category.
- Staff will review your request to make sure it seems reasonable and consistent with your business description.
What if there is no business category that appropriately describes your business?
- In rare cases, Chamber staff can create a new business category.
- However, our guiding principle is to add new categories only when a completely new business comes into the community or a new type of business is added to our database. We are unlikely to add new categories that are really finer subsets of existing categories. For example, we have a category called “Social Media and Web” under the Advertising, Marketing and Media Quicklink. If you are focused only on Google Analytics, we will put you in this category. We will not create a new category for “Google Analytics.”
- On the other hand, if you run a business does not fall into one of those categories listed in “Home Improvement, Construction and Trades,” we’ll consider adding a new category at the request of the business.
We look forward to helping you get this assigned to the right category(s). Questions about categories or your business listing and business categories? Call us at 708.613.0550 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.