Why it’s important to be part of a strong business community.
Business is all about people: your team members, your clients and customers, your network. Developing a strong business community creates a network around you that can lend invaluable support to your growing business.
Knowing who to build into your community is simpler than you think. True relationship is built on value: the value people have to contribute to your business, and the value they have as a human being.
Applying this principle to each circle your business impacts provides you with a solid community-building strategy:
Clients & Customers: The lifeblood of being in business. Without them, we don’t get to do what we are passionate about. True customer service looks beyond the potential dollar signs to the ongoing relationships that can be built. Genuine care for the needs of our clients is what turns them into loyal customers and referral partners… not to mention the meaningful friendships that can develop.
Team Members: Whether you have employees, contractors, or other strategic partners you work with, encouraging a genuine community within that team is the best road to success. Identifying the unique ways each person contributes and encouraging growth in those areas will foster ideas, innovation, and top-performance.
Competition: Our perspective? There is enough business for everyone. Healthy respect for the competition combined with confidence in your own ability to provide the best possible products and services eliminates the need for insecurity. Choosing to work with those who are “competitors” – while guarding your own secret sauce, of course – can actually be an incredible way to extend your reach to an entirely new audience.
Networks: Plugging in to relevant business networks is an obvious way to connect. In the process of finding official groups to participate in, take your time making sure they are the right fit for you and your business. Networking and business groups aren’t one-size-fits-all. Find the place where connecting with others happens naturally for you. Forced connections don’t build lasting community or trusting relationships.
Community: If you know who your target market is, go be part of their community. Participate in causes they – and you – care about. Invest time in the physical, local community around your business. Showing up to give back speaks highly of your company values.
Putting forth the effort to build a business community in these different spheres of influence is beneficial in more ways than one. Here are just a few of the ways you can benefit from your business community:
Resources: The more people you know, the more resources you have access to. This makes finding the right connections simply – easier. If you need to find a good lawyer, all you have to do is crowdsource recommendations. If you’re looking for a part-time employee, start with your networks. If you need advice on a new idea, ask your community.
Support: We all hit rough patches in business, but having a solid community around you will help you get through them. Not only will you receive encouragement, but you’ll also probably have one or two people you know you can count on for sound advice for the tough decisions.
Referrals: The best referrals happen naturally as a result of a strong relationship, not because there’s an expectation. Business connections based on the value of the person, not what they can give you, eliminate the expectation and instead allow the relationship to be based on mutual benefit.
Ideas: Conversation is the quickest way to spark an idea. Having a wide variety of people in your network that you interact with creates a cross-pollination of ideas that opens new doors of creativity you wouldn’t get to on your own.
We love our business community. It didn’t happen overnight, and we value the strategic business relationships we’ve developed. And we’re always looking to meet new people! If you’d like to join our business community, give us a call! We’d love to set up a time to chat.