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Actually, I've been thinking of joining them.

Is this now a bad idea?

The main motvation for me would be to convey professionalism to my customers.

However, as you say, your wesbite provides abundant free info that a membership business may charge for.

I left the APL this year due to the poor leadership of the Chairman, who seemed to be looking after himself than be interested in the actual APL members. The association itself seemed to be making moves to grow the membership but everything was taking its time, to slow in my opinion and with membership fees being expensive, had to bow to pressure from my business partner when asked "Why are you continuing membership again", "what do you get out of it?". And for once I had to agree, I couldn't provide a good enough answer!
Associations work for some but not people/companies.

I have been a member of BALI and what Stuart say echoes my own reasons for leaving several years ago now. I thought I was paying to be in a club but was actually paying for a club that didn't seem want to help me. Management consultancy was weak, and a lot of the promises were never forthcoming. I am yet to join the landscape juice Network (too busy reading and never get round to it) but it is very interesting to see that what I thought and had heard would be the death of the professional landscaper by the free sharing of infomation to possible rogues is simply not true but has proven that we can work potentially together as an industry and this is actually what is needed to survive these lean times and more importantly the reduced income we are expected to endure by all clients. I am frankly amazed that the Network is free and it is telling that BALI and possibly others use it as a barometer to introduce their own policy. Do they not think we read it too?

It's interesting to see Stuarts comments. I think it's really important that these associations support the membership with practical advice and guidance. I think that the cluster groups are a good way ahead but there possibly needs to be more access to resources. I've recently started to regularly look through this great site and have found that peer to peer help and guidance , in both directions has been invaluable.

I should also thank Stuart for the advice he gave me via the Linked in site. Thanks also to Phil Voice for setting up and maintaining this great site.

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