THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY
The word community brings forth pictures of where we grew up, or where we are living now. Communities are formed in our places of worship or with special friends. Living in community has been an important part of the development of the human race since its earliest times. It provides security, acceptance and support.
As business owners we need to form a “community” where we can feel comfortable; one in which we can ask for help without having to look over our shoulder.
The outside business world is often referred to as a “dog eat dog” atmosphere, and sharing among business owners is rare. If and when it occurs, there is always something “held back”; always a fear of someone taking something that is yours.
About six months ago I went to the office of a prospective client; it was located on the 7th floor of a mid-rise building. His 1200 square foot office was one of five offices on the same floor. The issue was, how to I increase my business?
We went through the “getting acquainted pleasantries” and then he shared what a mistake he made by signing a three year lease at this location. With two years left on the lease he was hoping to survive until his lease was over and then move to a ground floor location where people can see his sign and stop in.
My next question was, “How many customers do you have in this building?” The answer was none. I then shared that having a common location afforded the opportunity to create a community and get new business. I suggested meeting the businesses on his floor and having a get acquainted coffee and bagels morning.
Just by working on building a community he was able to substantially increase his business, both with the other owners in the building and with their referrals. Coffee and Bagels now happens every week on a rotating basis, and many of the business owners in the building participate.
This is but a small example how to build a successful business community.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller
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