May 25, 2022

StrategisChhr

Skillful Business Crafters

The Importance Of Community As A Business Owner

Julie Ball is the founder of Sparkle Hustle Grow, a subscription box for female entrepreneurs and a subscription box business coach.

Entrepreneurship can be extremely rewarding. It can also be challenging. And if we’ve learned anything after two-plus years in isolation, it’s that humans thrive with community and interaction.

The thing is that loneliness doesn’t just feel bad—it can also pose real health risks for people. When no one around you has navigated the challenges of business ownership, it’s easy to feel alone, like you lack the support you need to thrive as an entrepreneur.

That’s where your business community comes in. Fostering a strong professional network can give you the tools to step up to the plate and face any business challenge with confidence. Let’s start with three benefits of finding your community as a business owner:

1. Community breeds collaboration and growth.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve shared a project and received a piece of feedback that elevates the entire project. Whenever you’re having a hard time finding the right words or simply can’t put your finger on what’s missing, having a fresh set of eyes on your work is almost always bound to improve it.

I’m a firm believer that collaboration brings out the best work. Unfortunately, as a solopreneur, that’s not always possible. One of the most challenging elements of going into entrepreneurship alone is that you’ll often face decisions alone. You won’t have a sounding board to bounce ideas off of or to give you advice. You can vent to your family or significant other, but realistically, you may not have a trusted expert to give you professional advice.

Many communities, online and off, give you the opportunity to ask members for advice, whether that’s helping you find the words to deal with a rude client or proofreading your work before you submit it.

Besides, growth won’t happen in a vacuum. When you’re part of a community, you may end up finding a dreamy new partnership or growing your client base. Be warned, though: You want to enter any community with the goal of adding as much value as you can—not just taking from others.

2. It helps keep you accountable.

There’s a reason running clubs and group chats exist: Holding others accountable (and being held accountable by others) is easier than holding yourself accountable.

If I had to guess why so many people drop their dreams before they even start, I’d say that a lot of it is simply leaving them for later. And I’d argue that discipline and self-reliance are crucial for any entrepreneur. But having a group of peers rallied behind you and checking in on your progress is an excellent motivation.

One of the core elements of masterminds and other business communities is sharing goals with each other and coming back to them frequently. This is the exact spark many entrepreneurs need to stay on track when no client or bill is pushing them to get the job done.

3. You’ll have a haven when things get hard.

Things happen. When they do, you want a safe place to come back to. Whether you’re doubtful about a prospect’s red flags or concerned about a problem with a client, your community is the perfect spot to drop a message and get valuable, real-time feedback from others who have likely faced the same situation before.

Your community is the perfect spot for you to share your frustrations or validate your concerns about entrepreneurship, business relationships and anything under the (business) sun. On the flip side, it’s also the perfect spot to come back and celebrate when things get good. It’s all about balance!

How can you find a nurturing community as a business owner?

The first step to finding your community is showing up. The process will depend on your business, but ideally, you’ll want to find diverse groups with whom you share an affinity, such as the type of service you provide or your interests. A good place to start is researching LinkedIn or Facebook groups in your niche or checking with your colleagues if they have any recommendations. Alternatively, contact your local Chamber of Commerce if you’re hoping to meet local business owners.

Next, consider attending networking events. I know—these can feel cringe-worthy. But they don’t have to be. Coworking spaces and other small businesses in your area may host these types of events with a modern approach.

If there aren’t any networking events in your area, how about hosting your own? Honeybook’s TuesdaysTogether is just one example of making space to share with like-minded entrepreneurs.

And finally, if you work from home, you won’t meet anyone from your kitchen table. So put yourself out there. Literally. Try renting a booth at a coworking space or head to the local coffee shop, and don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation. This will give you the chance to connect with other entrepreneurs or creatives in an environment that doesn’t feel staged or forced.

Starting and running a business is hard enough as it is.

You don’t need to make it harder by doing it alone. The people you surround yourself with can make a world of difference in how you experience entrepreneurship. So tell me, who are you going to have by your side?


Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?


https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2022/05/03/the-importance-of-community-as-a-business-owner/