There’s huge value in having a supportive community of fellow entrepreneurs you can turn to for advice, support, or even just a coworking session to help you power through that to-do list.
But how do you find your dream squad of business owners? It can be challenging when you’re new to the game, or when you’re not sure there are other businesses like yours locally. Since finding your community is so key for your business, that’s what we’re tackling today in Ask Shopify.
There are a lot of perks that come with running your own show, but a ready-made network of people who are working through the exact same problems and tasks as you isn’t one of them.
That’s why it’s so important to build a community of business owners you can turn to for help when you’re stuck, or even just to chat with about the day-to-day wins of running a business.
Sure, your friends kind of get it, but it’s always nice to have someone who will be just as excited as you are over a record-breaking Black Friday Cyber Monday, or that deal you negotiated with a supplier.
Even if you’re absolutely convinced that your small town (or big city!) doesn’t have anyone who can relate to what you’re working on, never fear. There are still ways you can find and build the entrepreneurial squad of your dreams.
Find online communities
The beauty of the internet is that you can connect with just about anyone, whether it’s your ideal buyer or your ideal business friends, no matter where you’re based.
If you’re worried that no one in your area runs a similar company, you can dive into online communities that are focused on providing space for ecommerce entrepreneurs to connect with each other.
Meetups and networking events
Regardless of whether anyone in your area runs a business exactly like yours, you should make a point of venturing out to some new networking events. Look for events that are targeted towards entrepreneurs or makers, like the Shopify Meetups, and be open to more general events even if they don’t seem perfectly aligned with your niche or business model.
Even if you don’t find anyone who runs a business like yours, you’re always going to find some common ground when you connect with other entrepreneurs. Your marketing strategies might not be exactly the same, but that can be a perk: You never know what you’ll learn from someone else’s experience.
Travel isn’t in the budget for everyone, but if you can swing it, conferences that are dedicated to your industry can be a great way to forge tight, long-lasting connections with other entrepreneurs in just a few days.
To find the best fit, check out the list of sessions and workshops ahead of time to see if they align with what you want to learn. If 80% of the sessions pique your interest, you've probably found a great fit, and you'll be there with a group of people who felt the same way.
Entrepreneurs you meet over a snack break during the day could turn into future mastermind group members or long-term connections, even if you don’t hail from the same city.
Reach out to online connections
If you follow other entrepreneurs on social media, especially ones who are at a similar stage in their business, reach out to them. What might start as a quick note replying to their Instagram stories could blossom into a great relationship.
And although it can be intimidating to reach out to someone you’ve never met before, remember that you’re not the only person who’s eager to connect with others who are working on building something. You’ll find that most people are not just willing, but excited to chat with others they can learn from.
Connect with your community
No matter where you are in the world, it’s possible to grow a successful business, but it’s easier with a little help from your friends. Connecting with a community of fellow entrepreneurs will help you hit your goals faster and more consistently. Whether you opt to connect in person or dive deep on strengthening your online relationships, having a support network is an important, not to mention fun, part of the entrepreneurial journey.