A business network or group is what you make of it. In the right network, your business can prosper. In the wrong network, you’re wasting time. Engage and develop a network or community with other people who want to connect, communicate and succeed in business.
When you say the word “community” today, it takes on a different connotation than it did just a few years ago. We now have online communities as well as special interest communities. We have our professional communities, our social networking communities, the traditional business community and the geographical community – the area where your business is located. So when you use the term build your community, build your business, meaning that the bigger your network of friends, colleagues, and common interest groups are, the bigger your business will become.
Selecting targeted and focused “community” building activities is essential in to achieving success. Here are some tips on what to be looking for:
- National & Local Membership – seek organizational platforms that tap into the power of an already established community of entrepreneurs with opportunities for leadership development and community involvement.
- Partnerships & Alliances – seek corporations and affiliate partners that offer a rich base of resources and expertise that can help you to propel your business to the next level of success.
- Targeted Industry & Trade Associations – keeps you informed about and current on trends, regulations, and eminent changes, and provides community support so that you can navigate your business effectively.
- Advisory Group or Board – works like a board of directors supplementing knowledge and expertise for you and your business with an arms length point of view.
- Business Network – a peer group either within your industry or outside of it or a peer exchange group where you can exchange information in another part of the country or in a non-competing region.
- Business Mentor – choose a coach or consultant to share their knowledge and who communicates in a way that you clearly understand. They will provide guidance, support, and accountability toward achieving your goals.
As business owners you may find growth opportunities through a variety of resources. Advertising may allow you to expand your business to the extent of your budget, however, a business owner who focuses on networking might experience growth that becomes viral and provides opportunities to bring interpersonal skills when presenting their business card along with their products and services.