Starting a business can be an isolating experience. If you’re new to being an entrepreneur, there’s a lot to take in. During the first year of running a business, there are many lessons to learn and experiences to overcome. Having a strong support network early on can help you better understand how to tackle the complexities of running a small business.
Here are some of the best ways in which you can build a strong support network
Co-working spaces are key to building support networks
In today’s business world, we have seen more people ditching the large office spaces for smaller and flexible co-working spaces. The rise of co-working spaces such as we work and the commons are promoting a new wave of collaboration, networking, and creativity.
So what is a co-working space?
Co-working spaces are fully equipped shared offices that are available to freelancers, individual entrepreneurs or small businesses. Apart from low start-up costs and flexible working conditions, co-working spaces offer small business owners the ability to join a community of like-minded individuals. Renting a space in a shared office means that you are surrounding yourself with motivated and goal orientated individuals that are in a very similar position.
Being part of a community of high achieving entrepreneurs and business people also means that you have a network of potential partners, clients, and mentors who can guide you through the challenging hurdles that may arise.
In a tech-driven society, social media has become a powerful tool in bringing people together. With the recent rise of LinkedIn, professionals are forming strong social connections. These connections can be extremely valuable.
If you’re unsure of why to use LinkedIn, here are two great reasons.
- Widen your support system so that if you ever need help with your business, you have a large system by your side. Connect with professionals who can add value to your life. Open dialogue with individuals. Reach out if you need mentoring or advice. All it takes is one connection to help you solve a business problem. Remember that a connection may one day turn into a partner, customer or supplier.
- Find the right talent for your business. If your business is growing and you find yourself needing talent, look to LinkedIn. If you can tap into your strong existing network of connections; it may be even easier to find the right talent for your small business.
Attend a networking event
Business networking events and conferences can be a great way of forming business relationships. Fishburners who are a tech co-working community host weekly events such as a pitch deck where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas. Attend a TED Talk, participate in an industry-relevant conference or take part in a meetup. The more you get out and interact with people who can support you, the less isolated you will feel.
Take part in a Meetup
Be bold about reaching out. There are a variety of social gathering events to take part in. Meetup host a group of events from business-related, technology, entertainment or sporting events. Attending a meetup group can open the door for social interactions. At the same time, it will promote a healthier work-life balance. Win-Win.
Family and Friends
Running a business is always time-consuming. Sometimes life travels at a hundred kilometers an hour. Remember to make time for friends and family as they will always help you get through it all. Friends that you have known for many years are more likely to be there for you no matter how busy you become. Head to the local pub, go for dinner, watch a movie or play a board game – the possibilities are endless.