WORKING IN A COMMUNITY
As humans we need to belong. Our family is your first “community”. That is followed by your school community, your faith community and then your friends. By the time you are ready to work on your own business, you have created a layer of communities which have supported you to this point.
Each of these “communities” has supported you in some fashion at a stage in your life. Each stage of your life had a different need and a new community was created to help you navigate. Now as a small business owner, who makes up your business support community? All the previous communities may still be in the picture and still fulfill an important part of your life’s needs. Each had the experience and knowledge to support you in particular stage of your life.
Who is your business community? Do you have the same feeling of support from them as you had from the other communities that were or are still with you?
Who do you turn to when you need a boost? When you lose a client or business is slow, who do you turn to that understands your situation? Do you have that special someone that can listen and perhaps give you some guidance?
I am not speaking about a networking group or a civic organization. They play an important role in the marketing area, but will you call them when you have a business problem? The relationship has to be both deep and trusting. If you needed an “understanding ear” first thing in the morning, who will you call?
Your business community should have unconditional acceptance for you and other members. It should be available to you when you need it. Business communities are not only there in case of trouble, they are there to help you celebrate success, both small and large. They offer a totally different type of support, filling a different, but vital need as your business grows.
Finding and cultivating such a community is part of growing a successful business. It may start with only one person and new members join when one is found that has the same value system as you. It can take many different directions:
· Having several small businesses share a space which allows for daily communication and interaction.
· It may be a weekly meeting of your community where each shares their business happenings.
· It may be a mentor or coach that has worked with you.
It could be a totally different format, one that suits you. The important thing is to have a trust relationship which is reliable and long-lasting.
Tips & Advice by Nick Petra, CFP – Founder of Strategic Duck and BizQuack
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