Small business associations are similar to trade associations. But rather than focusing on a specific industry, a small business association focuses on small companies in general. What this means is that entrepreneurs have somewhere to go for a resource which is very helpful when things get rough.One thing that many business owners struggle with is whether to join a business related association or trade association. As an entrepreneur the first thing you have to realize is that a trade association is not better than a small business association nor is a business association better than a trade association. Both of these associations are beneficial to small companies, the difference is that one focuses on the industry specifics and the other focuses on the business aspect as a whole.One of the best reasons to join an association is that the association will provide you with programs that are designed to help your business. These programs can help your business grow, but they can also help make your business more professional. The majority of these programs offer key speakers that will speak about specific topics related to all kinds of entrepreneurial issues.A trade association is beneficial because they provide special programs that are offered throughout the year that focus on your industry specifically. These programs can be structured to help your business grow, but they can also help you improve your internal processes. Trade associations will also provide speakers each month that speak about your industry directly and often times indirectly.Another great benefit about joining both a trade association and a small business association is that they often have different types of expos. A small business association will put on an expo that encompasses everything that you need to know about running a company, such as different software vendors, cash register vendors or anything else that you need to run a small biz.A trade expo is going to be a lot more focused on your profession. Trade expos also allow the members to participate and show off their products. These trade expos can be used to expand your knowledge in your industry, but also gain insight into what your competitors are doing and find out what is new in your market.Majority of associations also put out a monthly newsletter. What is included in the newsletter will vary depending on if it is a trade association or a small business association. Many times the newsletter will provide you with new information about what is going on with the association, such as what you can do to improve your bookkeeping for example.By becoming a member of a small business association or a trade association, you will be able to create an ever growing network with other people who share your interests. By creating a network you will meet some of the most valuable people to help your business grow and these same people will often help you expand your knowledge.So joining small business associations can definitely be a good idea to further expand your business and yourself as an entrepreneur.