When starting a business, it's absolutely important to have a community throughout the journey. The nature of a business is that there are good times and pretty hard times as well. It's during some of those times that you need advice from like-minded individuals or shares your experiences to help someone else. The support-system you get from a business community, whether online or physical meet-up, helps you grow and re-assure you that you are not alone in the struggles you face thus grows your confidence. In the case of a large community, marketing becomes easier as the community members spread the word out there.
We asked entrepreneurs and business owners to share their thoughts on the importance of a community to business and here are the responses;
#1- It builds trust
I think the community should be one of the main goals of every business. Why? Because if you don't have someone who trusts you and your brand you are not going to sell anything. And you need to sell something (ads, products, services) to make money right? Of course. That is the main reason brands like apple has been growing so fast and so strong. Because their customers are not customers anymore they are a tribe. A tribe of apple lovers. They do not want other things than apple. They just buy and wear anything they release to the market. That is the main reason they have been able to survive so many years. There are other brands that could disappear and no one is going to miss them. But Apple?
Thanks to David de Ponte Lira, FullMusculo.com!
#2- Builds a family
Having a tribe within your business is essential, if you want to be taken seriously you need to ensure that the people working with you are not just dedicated but excited. They need to be looking forward to coming in every day and they need to realize that if we all bleed for it then we all win from it. With a small business, in particular, it is very hard to find people who have the passion it takes to succeed to drive and to bring whole new components to the company. you need to incentivize them to do this in any way you can. Building a community for them to tie into is a great way to build the family you need.
Thanks to Matt Bacon, Dropout Media!
#3- Connects the business to different parties
A community is key – especially within the world of business. We work with startups, local businesses and national corporations, and each and every one of these entities is part of a community and must build up its community. On one hand, communities make up the fans, customers, reporters, investors and followers that keep brands up and running. And businesses – no matter how big or small – must give back to those groups; that is why we encourage entrepreneurs to get involved, to attend networking events, to volunteer and to show off the face/faces behind their products & services. Without community, a business just can't thrive.
Thanks to Bri Thomas, Batch Creative!
#4- Brand awareness
We have built an enormous community within a Facebook group that has helped propel our brand awareness and more importantly sales! The feedback from the group has given us countless ideas on problems to solve and ideas for new products. Because people are always on Facebook, it helps keep the interaction high and moderation of spam with post approvals easy. It also allows like-minded clients to discuss and interact in a professional environment.
Thanks to Mikey Moran, Private Label Extensions!
#5- Two important ways
I would say that community is absolutely invaluable to the success of a business, especially a small business. The community that your business is based in allows you to build a rapport with fellow entrepreneurs at networking and local events and establish brand awareness with customers so they build up recognition of you and your company.
Thanks to Deborah Sweeney, MyCorporation!
#6- Allows you to nurture each other as we grow
When you talk to business experts, a lot of them will stress the importance of a business network and how it can be a powerful tool to generate referrals, share industry expertise, pool resources, and develop relationships that can advance your business. But being part of a tribe is more than that. There's something particularly powerful when you see someone and recognize in them a kindred spirit; they know what it's like to be in the trenches, to deal with challenges, and to be passionate about a dream. Sometimes we can feel isolated, but being a member of a community allows you to nurture each other, offer advice, share camaraderie and grow together. A community is important, not just because what it can do for your business, but for what it can do for the people who make up you business.
Thanks to Andrew Thornton, Allegory Gallery!
#7- Provides an idea-sharing platforms
I can safely say that my business tribe has been integral to my success in running an e-commerce company. My tribe is made up of fellow e-commerce business leaders who are all in the same industry but don’t manufacture competitive products. This allows us to brainstorm together, share influencers and contacts, and join forces to meet our shared goals. In fact, this tight-knit community has enabled us to make huge strides in our efforts to improve sustainable manufacturing. Teaming up together allowed our tribe to support our own manufacturing plant that could stay up-to-date with environmentally-friendly production techniques and materials.
Thanks to Nate Masterson, Maple Holistics!
#8- Added desirability
A business’s community is what sets it apart from its competitors. Every business has customers, but a community of brand advocates that will recommend the brand at every given opportunity will really help to give the business a unique feel. A business’s community is often responsible for creating the brand’s image, as the attitudes, beliefs and associations of those in the community can become synonymous with the brand. This creates an image that no advertising campaign can recreate, and can add an extra layer of desirability to the brand, as prospective customers may want to be associated with the brand’s community. This added desirability, combined with the community’s recommendations, can help the business gain new customers, and new brand advocates to grow the community as a result. In this way, a business’s community is greatly important to the brand.
Thanks to Steve Pritchard, ASPLI!
#9- Several benefits
There are many benefits in utilizing your business community. First, you build relationships. Often these communities become your friends, your business partners, and your emotional support. Second, you increase your business's visibility. We have all heard the term – out of sight, out of mind. Nothing sells your business better than being in front of people face to face. Third, you expand your network and generate referrals and leads. The referrals that you get through your business community are normally high-quality leads. Finally, your business community will provide you with many opportunities. Opportunities like business partnerships, speaking engagements, and community volunteer opportunities. The opportunities within the business community are endless. There is a community of business professionals just waiting to help your business today!
Thanks to Dan Edwards, Clear Choice Office Solutions!
#10- Critical for growth and success
Starting a company can be lonely at times and being CEO can be scary and isolating too so finding a community of trusted people can be critical to your sanity and success. Whether it is a peer mentoring group or moderated forum to ask questions, share learnings and best practices or just get candid feedback and advice from someone who has been there before, these communities play a key role in helping avoid mistakes and course correcting when things start to go off plans. I test drove a lot of groups, organizations, clubs, etc. to find the right place for me. Ultimately I realized that there were really only a couple of communities that it made sense to actually join because they hit on all cylinders shared values, like-minded members, alignment with the group¹s mission and after every encounter I was glad I had come. It was the right balance of professional, educative, social and fun. I got great advice, learned a lot, made friends, referrals and clients.
Thanks to Paige Arnof-Fenn, Mavens & Moguls!