If I could say one thing I’ve learned from my experience working with a startup technology company and coworking space, it’s that community plays an essential role in building a successful company. Plenty of other factors play key roles in your business’ success, but community should remain at the forefront of everything you value from the very beginning of your venture.
Scaling Your Business Through Networking
To build a valuable network in the area around you is to organically build a team of unsuspecting evangelists for your company. Regardless of your location, there are large networks of entrepreneurs and professionals of all trades for you to meet. Like-minded, driven people who want to see you succeed. Putting yourself out there and developing mutually beneficial relationships has proven to be a legitimate way to scale your business while helping others scale there’s. Joining your local chamber of commerce, Meetup.com, and other local community associations, are great ways to establish yourself in a community of professionals.
While building your network, ask questions! I cannot stress this one enough. Your network serves as an effective tool to help you develop your business. Find out what worked for other successful business owners and (more importantly) where they’ve failed. You are essentially building a community advisory board to avoid any pitfalls that may arise from a decision you would otherwise make solely on your own. It’s important not to confuse asking for advice with asking for favors. You don’t make connections to call in favors, you do it to create a mutual relationship that can lead to growth on both ends.
The Chain Reaction
Depending on the type of business you’re starting, there’s a good chance that the community around could also be your client base. Making yourself known as often as possible will surely drive clientele. Simply by knowing the folks in your local area on a personal, yet professional level, they will be inclined to use your services or products. If not them, 9 times out of 10, they’ll refer you to someone else that they know who will utilize your services…and so on goes the chain reaction.
Whether you’re just getting started, or have already established your brand, always keep your community in the loop. The connections you build with other like-minded members of your community will accelerate your business and ultimately lead to greater revenue for both parties. In creating these priceless relationships with one another, your business has its own old-fashioned, word-of-mouth advertising. Embrace the community around you and they will surely support you and your mission.
“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.” — Helen Keller
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…and don’t forget to check out our past blog entries on how technology is transforming retail — including our piece that was published in Altcoin Magazine on the impact of blockchain technology in retail. We also explore the ways that coworking is empowering that technological transformation!