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What will help the TLCA

Discussion in 'TLCA- Discussion Forum' started by TLCA_Paul, Dec 8, 2002.

  1. TLCA_Paul

    TLCA_Paul

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    I have gone over other post here and am trying to figure things out. From what I am reading here there is a problem with processing membership, and everyone want's Toyota Trails to remain the same quality, or better.

    I can also understand that most don't like to deal with the ByLaws, and all the formal B.S. that goes with a meeting. I am glad that it only comes every 2 months. Luckily we have some that will deal with it and keep the orginization moving.

    Someone stated that they checked the box to be contacted. There is more than just the club to blame for not being contacted. The mebership office processes the card and may have overlooked it. If that office does see it they then get in touch with the club or rep in the area, most times it is both. So there could still be a chapter for you. If you are still interested check the chapter page at TLCA.org .

    Sactioned Vs Sponsored event. This came back years ago when a chapter wanted a Cruiser only event, and the Mini truck community had a problem with there dues going in, and not being able to attend. So the BOD came up with diferent types of events that would disperse the TLCA resorces as fair as posible.

    Now with a new year comming, how should we move forward. Should the TLCA put most of it's recorces in Toyota Trails. Come up with new ideas? Get more events? I am sure there are things the BOD have missed, the membership can always hlp us out. After all we work for you.
     
  2. PHAT MAX

    PHAT MAX

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    Personally, there are a few main reasons i have not joined yet...

    1 being that i am 16 and cash is not easy to come by when you bag groceries (also the reason i do not have a red star on pirate 4x4 BB)

    2 being that i would join only for TT...and for the discount at toyota dealerships. I would join for the sanctioned events...but my tow vehicle would be an 86 Buick Sky Hawk = Not a good time.

    3 being that i have heard of people not getting their TT Mag for like the first 6 months of their membership...as stated above, that is the main reason i would join--for Trails.

    As i get older and have more $$ i will go to some sanctioned events and i am sure it will be a good time...but until then i am stuck riding the logging roads here in the Nicolet.

    Hope this gives you a little insight!
    -Max
     
  3. pismojim

    pismojim the Dude abides...

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    Thanks for posting TLCA_Paul I'll give you a couple of thoughts.

    Officially set the goal of increasing membership, be it new members or retaining old members. Ask everyone to help. A growing membership is a sign of a healthy organization.

    • Update the TLCA webpage.
      Someone was complaining about it to me today - needs updates, no news, no rubithon dates, no recent trail or event reports, etc,
    • the web site could have a teaser article from the TT (updated with each issue)
    • likewise, the TT could refer people to the website for "extras"
    • Bring back the "give-a-way" contact info cards
    • Bring back the 800 number for membership
    • Bring back mechandise at the Rubithon (missed it last year)
    • include a subscription card or give-a-way card in each TT
    • have a contest for recruiting new members
    • remind members what the benefits are
      (helps them recruit)
    Just brainstorming feel feel to ignore...
     
  4. pismojim

    pismojim the Dude abides...

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    Direct from the TLCA membership application form:

    Application processing normally takes 4-6 weeks

    Can't this be improved?

    If I had a nickel for every time someone asked *me* about why they haven't heard anything thing from TLCA after trying to join... Many report worse results, some are still waiting, I kinda hate to tell people to join and then tell them to expect to wait at least a couple of months to recieve anything.
     
  5. woody

    woody Internet Fireman Staff Member

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    IMO, Trails is the #1 resource for TLCA and it should remain 1st priority. The web is becoming a huge resource for people too and much more emphasis needs to be placed there...as noted, its pathetically out of date.

    Membership - 4-6 weeks is ridiculous and I have likewise heard many say it's longer. From what little I understand of the member process, information is sent in to one locations, check forwarded to another, entered somewhere else, etc....too much separation of duties...joining should be an EASY process.

    Retention of members another...I can't tell you how many calls I've received from the 4x4 mags to reup my subscriptions 2-3 months prior to their ending....called yesterday in fact by one. Encourage longer term memberships, look into lifetime memberships, discount for 3 year memberships etc.

    Given what's come across the BodReps list, there seems to be some more friendly communication as of late...hopefully that continues.
     
  6. woody

    woody Internet Fireman Staff Member

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    Another thought for the Trails...

    Each issue, have a club spotlight....not just the paragraphs/notes from the club, but a more in depth run thru of one of the chapters. Might generate greater interest for those not in clubs plus give some of the more fledgling clubs more ideas to keep themselves fresh. Include pics, trail info, meeting into, socials, club goals, functions, etc.
     
  7. pismojim

    pismojim the Dude abides...

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    Still on the lines of membership...

    Put together a brochure, handout or maybe a small poster. Something that business members could distribute or display. In others words, market the TLCA to its target audience.

    It could be something as simple as a piece of paper vendors could throw in a box when shipping a cruiser part or a flyer you pick up at the counter of SOR or MAF.

    I used to give away my old Toyota Trails to prospective members but I've quit doing that now.
     
  8. TLCA_Paul

    TLCA_Paul

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    Thanks keep them comming.

    Yes the mail issue is a rough one. I have been to the TLCA PO box. Chris and I got our picture taken in frount of the post office. When we get the new admin person in place it should cut membership process time in half or more. No more waiting for main to be forwarded, or an OK from Tres that the credit card has processed. I don't know all the details, but it is time consuming.

    Ideas like Chapter updates, or Membership Contests are good ones, they would cost the TLCA little money to do. Cards and web will require a little cost for them. All of these are good ideas, I will pass them all on.
     
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I believe it was Jim who mentioned about the give-away contact cards. Those cards are alive and well...at least they are supposed to be. The Membership Office was provided with many cards that several of which were to be included in each new and renewing members packets.

    Plus, if you or your Chapter would like more, just drop me a note at park@rapidnet.com with your name and address and I'll drop them in the mail to you.

    Thanks for trying to make TLCA a better organization.

    Park Owens
    Treasurer, TLCA
     
  10. woody

    woody Internet Fireman Staff Member

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    Another idea....when chapters "renew" their information each year for official TLCA recognized status, they automatically receive a TLCA care package with promo cards, extra Trails issues, etc for getting more members involved. Would be a good way to get those supporting TLCA to promo for "free" plus help "get rid of" the back Trails issues.
     
  11. pismojim

    pismojim the Dude abides...

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    I recall buying a pack of ten or so from merchandise a few years ago. I could be wrong it's been awhile and I don't see them listed in the TT or web site. Maybe I bought them at Rubithon? BTW, I love buying TLCA stuff at Rubicon Springs during Rubithon. I know what a PITA to bring that stuff in and being the one stuck sitting there selling it, but when you tell people the story of how/where you got your sweatshirt it's cool. It says, those TCLA folks are nuts (in a good way)!

    Shortly after getting the contact cards the 800 number listed on them for membership was discontuned, I marked them up and passed them out anyway. I renewed in Sept and didn't get any contact cards. Never have as I recall.

    I like them and I'll be emailing you Park. Thanks
     
  12. Park_Owens

    Park_Owens

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    Jim,

    Thanks for the comments. There is no charge for the cards. Any TLCA member can get some if they will just drop me a note with name and address. Last year, the TLCA BOD decided to foot the bill themselves and make them available through Membership, Chapters and individual members.

    Cheers,

    Park
     
  13. FJ40Gordy

    FJ40Gordy

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    Bring back renewal as a Chapter or bring it back as an option. We used to send in our TLCA dues as a Chapter, then TLCA went to renew as an individual member of a chapter. And that's just what happened, we all became individuals, no "i" in TEAM right! Just my 2 cents.

    FJ40Gordy
    TLCA #1458
     
  14. TLCA_Paul

    TLCA_Paul

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    Yes we do listen, so we are working to move forward.

    The BOD voted to hire an administrator anstead of a membership person. Thanks to Park Owens for finding ways the TLCA can afford it. Now you will get your mebership processed with no wait for credit cards to process, or moneys to transfer to the Tres. We also went the next step forward and will be moving the mail to go directly to the administrator. This can make the process up to 3 weeks faster. This should be in place in the first few months of the year.

    The next good news is that Henry did some work on the Jan issue. So much work that it should be ready for press by the end of this week.
     
  15. pismojim

    pismojim the Dude abides...

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    Thanks Paul, it's nice to get these updates. It helps knowing what's going on in "realtime". (Thanks for the forum Woody).

    P.S. I received the contact cards Park. Thanks, they are great, I scribbled my name and phone number on a few, then decided to print some legible mailing labels with my info to stick on the back.

    Appreciate your guys effort, thanks,
     
  16. reorx

    reorx

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    Two words: Secure Server! :D

    I am glad there are plans to rework the tlca.org site and while you are at it, you should either get a root certificate to enable ssl for the membership application, or farm out the payment processing to a company that handles those (like Paypal). I am mailing in my renewal form, and it seems so antiquated to use the USPS.

    -Dave
     
  17. TRT2

    TRT2

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    Many thanks to everyone for the excellent input...

    Much of what has been suggested here is already taking shape. As Paul noted, the new Admin position will significantly improve turn around on new and renewing members (no more missed trails), the renewal process is currently undergoing changes which will continue.

    the web site is going to be elevated to top priority... it is going to be tough (lots to do, no $$) but let there be no mistake, it is crucial to our goals and ongoing success.

    Jim... Merchandise will be present at Rubithon and many more events.

    Park has made renewal cards available and we hope to again be sending them to Members. Our approach is going to be that each TLCA member is a representative for this association.

    I also like the Chapter Spotlight concept (have for some time) and will be presenting the concept to the new editor... but I have more in store for chapters! I want to initiate direct communication between TLCA and chapters via a monthly newsletter (for lack of a better word), hopefully to enhance the relationship between chapters and TLCA... and I want to bring back the Chapter group renewal process. It was a mistake for us to do away with that process. I am sure we can work out the process to the benefit of each. And while Chapters hopefully will help us gain and maintain membership, the association is not going to 'bird dog' TLCA Membership.

    But I'll close my rambling with this comment; There are probably a zillion things we could to... but we are going to identify the top 10 and focus on them, and actually initiate and complete them. All too often, I see lots of talk but not much action due to whatever reasons. I hope we can brainstorm, identify and prioritize, then put them into action with assigned responsibility and measureable results.

    and you know what??!! We are going to have fun while doing it. :D
     
  18. Kaderabek

    Kaderabek

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  19. dieselcruiserhead

    dieselcruiserhead

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    A couple of things I'm thinking.

    I would be willing to update the TLCA web site. Not at a massive rate where every little thing is changed but I would be willing to maintain it at no more than a few hours a week and maybe do a simple redesign.

    Secondly, this is the only thing that will be an expense (unfortunately prgramming does not come cheap) but I would like to encourage the TLCA and it's officers to seriously explore it. Me and my company would like to create an online database for all TLCA members, so that they recieve an email when their membership is beginning to expire, and it is also a centralized, online location for all members to update it themselves, as well as an electronic location for the membership director to update it him or herself whenever they get a phone call. This eliminates paper work, credit card machines, etc etc. Then each time trails is about to be shipped, it is a quick mailmerge (or the magazine publisher deals with it) and address labels of the current members are shipped and sent, that way no one misses an issue and everyone can update their membership themselves. I can design this and would probably do this myself for free but unfortunately I have to pay my programmer to set up the programming aspect of this. Plus it will also take quite a few man hours and will require some costs of about ~$400 per year (rough initial guess) for credit card processing, etc etc. However, my programmer is also a TLCA member himself so I think we could be leniant :)

    Anyways, 1) because the site has not been updated, I don't know who the new membership director is. Can someone forward this information to me and their contact information to explore this idea further. 2) If any officers (or programmers) would be interested in this or have any questions feel free to contact me directly @ andre@collegeinternetsolutions.com or (435) 645-3914 days.

    I run a web site & internet company called College Internet Solutions - not trying to make any money off this at all, just trying to help :)
     
  20. TRT2

    TRT2

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    dieselcruiserhead...

    I will be contacting you personally.

    I also have some visions about how to make it work... and while it is too early to let it all out (till after transition on jan 11th), I do envision a web team of volunteers such as yourself, who are responsible for perhaps, one page or one area of the site.  Basically, share the load concept.

    Believe it or not, we actually have some volunteers who will help in the same manner you have noted... but no one, nor would I ask any one person, wants to take on the entire project.

    Much more to come, and as noted, I will be contacting you.

    thanks in advance...