It can feel isolating as an entrepreneur and business owner. While we are seemingly more connected than ever thanks to social media, our focus has become increasingly targeted towards increasing the number of connections we have as opposed to the quality of the connections we make. Couple that with the intense pressures of running a business around the clock, staying up to date with industry trends, networking and so much more, it can feel like you are burning out all alone. This is where belonging to a community comes in.
Community is more than just the physical area that you might reside in, or where your business is located. Community is the joining of like-minded individuals who can provide a system of support and a sense of belonging. Joining a community is vital to not only our business lives but our personal ones as well. Communities can provide sanctuary in a way that our personal relationships might not be able too. Read on as we give four reasons why having a community is important to your business success.
Provides a system of support
Having a team around you that motivates and encourages you is vital to the success of an individual or organization. A well put together community surrounds you with like-minded people who are not only driven, but excited for your goals. Whether this community is directly impacted by your business or not, your success becomes their success. They desire to see you succeed, to support and push you towards your goals.
You also have the support of people who understand exactly what you’re going through. These are people who understand the long nights and tireless hours it takes to run a business. They understand the challenges that you face, but also, the passion and joy that happens when you achieve something that you have dreamed about. Community helps to feed the desire that we belong to something. It can help you grow and nurture together.
Builds rapport and trust with others
A community can help establish credibility and trust within the industry as well as with customers. The higher your credibility is, the more rapport you can build with your customers and bring more value to the customer experience. You are then able to turn customers into brand advocates who support and share your products and brand with others. You’re able to create a forum for feedback about your products and services, and organically increase word of mouth.
Within your industry, a community can provide connections that can come back as referrals, share your experiences and pool your resources together. These connections can, in turn, open doors and add desirability to the brand. When you have built rapport within the industry, the brand’s image and voice can become personalized. This will also increase your brand visibility.
Gives feedback from different perspectives
It can be difficult when you are faced with a challenge or situation to know how to solve it by yourself. A community can provide much-needed feedback on how to handle an issue with a perspective that might be different from your own. When someone can look at something with a fresh set of eyes, you might find solutions you wouldn’t have initially thought of. Being able to hear the perspectives of those who might have dealt with a similar issue, and how they were able to overcome the problem. Most importantly, you get feedback without fear of judgment. Being able to bounce new ideas or approaches on each other without worrying if those in your community are going to judge you for it.
Connects different industries together
Your community doesn’t have to be limited to those just within your industry. Communities can be formed by branching multiple industries together, creating an even wider network and reach for your businesses. Through these partnerships, you can gain specialized knowledge that you might not have had access to before. You can then use this knowledge to your advantage. Maybe you are in the tech industry but are working on developing an app that helps people manage money better. Forming ties with the finance and design industries will help strengthen the reach of your product and keep you more attuned with industry trends you could have missed.
Communities don’t just have to exist in a physical aspect. There are countless ways you can create a community. Communities can be formed through social media groups, forums, email threads, phone calls and more. There are even websites being created now solely focused on forming communities for industries that can then spinoff and create smaller communities based on specific roles or locations. Find what platform fits best for your life.
The key to community, is being able to identify it as a group that is genuine and authentic to the success of each other. When you are surrounded by other people who are intentional, you can feel inspired and pushed to reach higher, do more and shine brighter than on your own.