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If there is one thing this pandemic has taught us, it’s how to evolve and adapt to new normals.  With many places still in lockdown, it can feel isolating to conduct business without the spaces and places we have grown so accustomed to,  or someone to sit with and bounce ideas off of.

Because of this new normal, you may feel like it’s time to venture out and find a community of like-minded people to be a part of.

Perhaps this pandemic has inspired you to start a new business, or you simply want to find like minded people to connect with.

Maybe you’re a solopreneur who never gave business communities or networking groups much thought, but now you are because you’re working from home and are lonely, or you need more business referrals and sales. 

Regardless of the reason you want to find a business community, you have plenty of ways to expand your business network, and there’s no need to feel alone as an entrepreneur or business owner. 

Leverage the Connections You Already Have

In this day and age, a lot of people are starting their own business and taking the next step to be their own boss.  Do you have any friends or relatives who run their own business?  If so, don’t hesitate to ask them about any business communities they are a part of.  

Leveraging your connections helps because your friends and relatives can get you connected with any communities they are involved in, and introduce you to the people in them.  Also, because the people in your life know you best, they can recommend others that would be a good fit for you and your business. 

Join Social Media Groups

Social media is an invaluable tool.  A lot of entrepreneurs use these platforms, which means there is a lot of potential to find the right community for you there. We also know that many groups can provide resources and information, and a variety of opinions, making it a come one and come all melting pot. 

If your business isn’t already on social media, make a profile! You can only benefit from having an online presence for your business, and from there you can look for communities to join.  

Facebook, for example, provides a great opportunity to find your perfect community.  Simply type in the industry you work in, or look for local business groups, and look at any groups that pop up.  

LinkedIn is also a great option to consider.  It’s more business-oriented than most platforms, so it’s easier to find business owners to connect with.

When looking at what these platforms have to offer, it’s important to consider the ones that fit your brand and personality best.  The purpose of finding a community is to network, share value and make allies in your business journey.  Not all social media is the same, and remember that sometimes advice is worth as much as you pay for it. 

Because of this, it’s important to make sure you find a good fit.  Otherwise, it won’t add much value to your business.

Find Networking Groups Focused on Giving

Networking groups are a tight-knit community, focused on your business, helping you learn and grow, and giving you high quality word of mouth referrals. .  Strategic groups are more focused on collaborations and referrals to increase leads and sales in your business.  The right group will have a positive, welcoming environment, and comes from a mindset that is based on building relationships and trust. 

Networking groups are your best option if you are looking to expand your network with like-minded people and they also provide community and support,

While some of these groups are free, some are paid.  Both are worth considering.  Typically, the paid options offer more structure, strategy, and success than free ones.  We encourage you to do your research and decide which groups are best for you, and if you choose a paid group make sure it will help you to connect, learn, and succeed. 

Group Coaching Programs

As an entrepreneur, it’s important to make investments for yourself and your business.  Paid networking groups can be a solid investment that bring a high return and a valuable business community.  There are also coaching programs that can help you grow your business. 

Investing in a coach can help you gain perspectives in areas that you normally wouldn’t think about.  Some of these include mindset, confidence and business know-how.

The great thing about a group coaching program versus simply hiring a coach is not only are you investing in growth, you’re also investing in a community.  

If you start a program, chances are the people in there with you are like-minded entrepreneurs who can provide support and value.  There’s a good chance of making life-long friendships and finding potential collaborations and business partners when investing in something like this.

There are some networking groups that provide similar benefits to group coaching programs so taking the time to choose what you need is very important. 

Provide and Receive Value

One of the many benefits of finding the right business community is your ability to provide and receive value.

When looking for a group,  you think maybe a good fit, take the time to visit,  try introducing yourself and giving a little advice that is relevant to your industry. Sometimes being a guest or visitor can seem intimidating but remember the people you find in these groups care about relationships, and finding a business community just like you do.  

Notice when talking to other people in the group the ways in which you can give value to them, be it sharing insights, or asking questions to get to know them and their business, or giving them a referral  When you come from a place of giving we know that in return, you’ll receive value.

Finding The  Right Business Community May Seem Easy, but It’s Not Always the Case.

Each entrepreneur uses business communities for different reasons, but the most common are for support, referrals and collaboration. 

Some groups also provide training and development, mentorship and business relationships. 

It’s going to be a while until things get back to normal.  And because of COVID-19, more people are seeking out communities so they have more referrals and support to stay successful  If you are searching, remember that it’s important to make sure the community you join is a good fit for both you and your business.  And when you find that special community, and participate with a give to give mindset you can watch your business, the businesses around you, and your life blossom.

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