Become a member of the HBA


Successful business owners share many qualities, from knowing their business to having sufficient capital to carefully monitoring those funds and spending them wisely. But success involves more than writing a business plan and implementing it. It typically requires a higher education that comes not from a university but from the shared wisdom available from the one group that can teach a business owner more than any article or book. This group offers the best opportunity for networking and information, and can produce inspiration and affirmation unavailable anywhere else. This group is the Helena Business Association (HBA), a local nonprofit organization that exists to help improve the overall climate of the business community to which its members belong and to help its members become better at running their businesses. Why go it alone when you don’t have to? Here are 7 really good reasons to join the Helena Business Association.

Reason #1: Information

Many people join the HBA for one simple reason: information. They can learn about the fundamentals of starting and sustaining a business. They can learn about key business trends, new legislation, or regulations. They can learn about resources. How does the information come to the owners? Typically the best information often comes not just from the presentations at the meetings but from the conversation with a colleague before or after the meeting.

Reason #2: Inspiration

Where do most good ideas come from? For some of us that hot shower or long walk with the dog offers the quality relaxation time we need to get the brain to dream. So, where else can you find that time away from the office that allows you to think about your business’ future and enjoy the company of those facing similar challenges and problems? The Helena Business Association can be the best place to find inspiration. You’re away from the office and the phones and the PC (and if you’re smart, not looking at your phone every five minutes). You hear about an approach or process that you know you can emulate easily and quickly—and perhaps inexpensively—and you’re off and running.

Reason #3: Support

As an HBA member, you have ready access to dozens of individuals and organizations that can act as unpaid consultants or advisors who offer support in ways big and small, all of which can help you succeed. Your colleagues can lend an ear when you most need one. Offer information and inspiration. Remind you that you do have the skills you need to succeed. Most of the other members compete for entirely different types of customers. These are colleagues, and often will become friends. Your fellow members can be that all important sounding board or, if things aren’t going well, a shoulder to cry on.

Reason #4: Referrals and Other New Business Opportunities

 Finding customers can be very difficult for many small business owners. The HBA’s educational programs can teach an owner how to do this, but the association can also offer informal and formal ways of putting owners and buyers together. Here’s a scenario:  A business owner joins an association, goes to the meetings, and even joins a committee—and still wonders why he or she spent so much time and has no new business to show for it. And then the call comes. An HBA colleague who runs a similar business receives a call from a prospect but doesn’t have the capacity for the additional. Your colleague looks for a subcontractor or the prospect asks your colleague to recommend someone in the same general industry—and it’s you. Keep your new customer for any reasonable length of time and you’ve made back the cost of membership 10 times over.

Reason #5: Resources

Most successful business people didn’t know everything they needed to know when they opened their new businesses, but usually recognize that learning was essential to their success. Important lessons about general business operations and strategies can come from a presentation, but is there any better resource than a colleague willing to share their information or experiences when they were at your stage in the business cycle? The HBA member can obtain important resources, such as contacts for insurance, accounting, shipping, storage, etc., sometimes at a discount from a colleague.

One other important resource is the HBA's relationship with the Brock School of Business.  Each semester the school selects one member business to work with on their strategic marketing plan, all at no cost to the business.  >> MORE

Reason #6: Affirmation

When you first join any association it can seem that everyone knows the joke but you, everyone speaks a different language, everyone is more experienced and smarter and just so much more knowledgeable. And then comes the moment when you have an idea and say, “Well, here’s how I do it and my clients seem to like that system,” or “I know a new software program that will do that.” And they all start jotting down this little gem you’ve shared. Remember, there’s a reason why you thought you were good enough to succeed in business. The confidence and ego kick you get from these moments are so important to have and remember.  

Reason #7: Fun

We all need clients. We all need a paycheck. We all need signs of success. But we all need more than that because all work and no play makes for one very boring, tired, and unhappy business owner. It is important to find some opportunities to enjoy yourself. The HBA offers them. Be it the Helena Festival, HHS Senior Interview Day or any of the other community service activities provided or supported by the HBA, you’ll have so much fun hanging with and learning about your fellow members that you’ll completely forget that you are actually working on a project that benefits the community. How much fun is that? Join us and find out!


Being a member of the HBA is the closest thing to graduate school you’ll find and the rewards are many. But if you still need more reasons, just look at the individuals who are involved. These are hard core capitalists. They don’t spend their time on frivolous activities. They spend their time where it will do them and their companies the most good. They are, in most every case, successful. Isn’t this the group you want to be around—to learn from? If it is, then join us today!


  • Own or manage a business located in the City of Helena.

  • Complete the Membership Application.

  • Membership dues are $100/year. (Dues are prorated to $50 if you join between July 1 – December 31.) Memberships renew and dues are payable on January 1 each year.

The Helena Business Association (HBA) is a 501(c)(6) (non-profit) organization.  The HBA is managed by a Board of Directors.  Board Members are elected at the Annual Meeting held each April.  HBA members also vote on any ByLaw changes at this meeting.  Officers are elected by the Board of Directors at each annual meeting.  Each Board member serves a two-year term.

If you are a current member and you would like your business profile added to the website please request an update at the next HBA meeting or send an email to the HBA requesting an update.

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