Small Business Owners, Networking Isn’t Enough

Why Every Small Business Owner and Entrepreneur Needs a Community to Thrive

Networking is a vital part of any small business growth strategy, but showing up at networking events and connecting with people on LinkedIn isn’t enough.

For your networking efforts to be truly effective, you need to think about the bigger picture. You need to think about cultivating a professional community.

Community-building isn’t easy. It will most certainly require time and effort, but you’ll be rewarded with a robust support network of like-minded people who want to see you and your business succeed.

If you’re ready to stop networking and start cultivating community, here’s the guide you need.

First, think about the type of professional community you want to build

When you approach community-building with a plan in mind, you’re more likely to feel satisfied with your efforts (and the end result of those efforts).

So, think about your goals: 

  • Do you want to find trusted partners and suppliers to rely on for years to come? 
  • Would having a mentor or a mastermind group fast-track your success?
  • Are you ready to share your expertise with others?
  • Do you want to grow brand awareness for your business?
  • Are you hoping to become a prominent member of your local business community?

Once you know what you’re working toward, it will be easier to identify the best networking opportunities and community events to attend.

Next, it’s time to figure out how to meet your ideal business community

You know what your goals are, now it’s time to determine how you’ll meet and interact with new professional contacts. You could:

  • Tap into the power of LinkedIn by participating in groups, commenting on your network’s posts, and sharing helpful content. 
  • Join a local referral group and attend events.
  • Join local business groups on Facebook and participate in the discussions.
  • Attend events that are hosted by your local Chamber of Commerce.
  • Attend conferences and trade shows, both regionally and nationally.

There’s no shortage of professional events to attend and ways to connect, so be cautious about overloading your calendar. After all, you’ll need to save some energy for the next step in the community-building process.

Then, think beyond one-off networking events and meet-ups

All of the aforementioned events will provide you with abundant opportunities to build a professional community. However, to develop the lasting foundation that all successful relationships require, you also need to connect with people on a regular basis.

For people who work in an office environment, it’s easy to cultivate relationships because they tend to see the same people day in and day out. They can easily chat with coworkers and catch-up with folks in neighboring suites. Over time, these workers find themselves immersed in a community that’s bound together by shared location and proximity.

Small business owners, entrepreneurs, and remote professionals don’t usually have the same advantage.

Fortunately, there’s a way to tap into the community-building power of an office environment… without paying for a lengthy and restrictive lease in a commercial office building: Virtual office spaces.

How virtual office spaces help small business owners build a professional community

In a virtual office space, professionals from a wide range of industries work on their businesses and careers from the same office suite. 

Members rent their own private office space and share community spaces, like the lobby and kitchen. Meeting rooms are also available for rent as needed, so no one pays for unused space. 

When you rent a virtual office space, you have the privacy needed to get your work done and the benefits of a professional community. If that sounds like something that could help you take your small business to the next level, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Intelligent Office using this form

We’ll connect you with a local business services expert who understands what it’s like to work and network in your city. Before you know it, you’ll have the professional community you’ve always dreamed of.