When you think about investing in your business I’m sure a crazy number of things come to mind. There are different software and supplies on the list, graphic or web design services, maybe you think about a business coach or taking a class to help improve your skills. Literally, endless ideas, right?
And yet, one of the simplest, free ways to invest in our businesses is one that isn’t talked about nearly enough in the small business circle. Community!
Networking with other small business owners in your niche and building partnerships and community can be the difference between a successful handmade business and one that fails. Trust me!
Here are a few reasons why building community around yourself and your business is one of the best investments you can make.
One of my favorite quotes is,“If you’re the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room.”You want to surround yourself with people you can learn and grow from. When you are first starting out and trying to tackle so many new things, having people around you that you can ask advice from or shadow and see how they do things can be eye opening. Devoting even just one day a month to attend a networking event or a workshop or some time on LinkedIn to see what others have been posting can open so many opportunities to learn from others.
You want people in your corner. It’s that simple. If you have those moments in the week where you find yourself feeling like you are in this crazy world of working toward your goals all by yourself, get out there and make some relationships! Check out a meetupin your area or head to the Forsyth Tech Small Business Center website to see what classes and events they’re offering each month. You can even go online to join a few Facebook groups for people with similar interests, or reach out to someone on Instagram and say hello to get a conversation going! Investing time to build friendships with other entrepreneurs and creating conversation can lead to meaningful relationships that really make a difference.
Meeting other business owners is like adding tools to your tool belt.The next time you have a project to do, you have so many incredible resources to take that project to a new level. I see this happen all the time in the Facebook groups I’m a member of! Someone will mention they are looking to create a graphic t-shirt line for example. Within minutes you’ll see comments popping up recommending friends who screen print or work with a heat press. Instant collaborations are made! So many times, what we can create together surpasses what we can do by ourselves.
Let’s keep it real. The journey of being an entrepreneur isn’t glamorous and can be anything but easy. It’s literallyrunning toward your goal at full force, passionate and determined, with what can feel like the entire world, at times, reminding you that there’s a chance of failure. So having people who genuinely know what those struggles are like can make it much less lonely.
Seeing other people’s successes can make you feel empowered and sometimes offer you the encouragement you need to try something new or push yourself in the direction you’ve been afraid to move in. There is a special type of support when you create a community through connection. Your friends and family are amazing, but having a tribe of people who truly get it makes such a difference in running a business.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “It’s who you know.” And while I’m the first to tell you that having success it’s much more than just that, let’s not be naive either. Knowing the right people sure doesn’t hurt!Investing time to go to networking events, joining a mastermind, or being active in your local community gives you countless chances to meet someone who can literally be a game changer!By getting yourself and what you do out there, you are putting your name in someone’s head when they have that wonderful opportunity for which you are the perfect fit.
On the flip side, by building community and being a part of different networks of people, you could meet the next person you need in your life for your business! Look around and see what kind of talent surrounds you – maybe the photographer or web designer you’ve been looking for is right in front of you? Always look for connections and how you can benefit from one another!