When you open the doors to your business, you automatically join a nationwide community of small business owners. As part of this exclusive group, you have access to so many great resources--if you only know where to look.
Share Your Experiences
Belonging to a community of other small business owners is a great opportunity to engage with people who are going through the same thing as you. You can relate to their challenges and learn from their successes...and their mistakes!
Explore what's going on in your hometown and find opportunities to connect with fellow owners. There are often networking opportunities sponsored by your local Chamber of Commerce or Small Business Association chapter. Look for ways to volunteer in your community. There are also communities online. At The UPS Store, we have a community called Small Biz Buzz where owners can pose questions and share advice.
Promote Your Business
The relationships you form through this community provide a natural opportunity to promote your business. As you meet new people and they learn about your business, they are more likely to be a referral for you. Or perhaps they'll see an opportunity to form a partnership with your business, which could be mutually beneficial. The possibilities are endless!
It can also be a forum for you to test out new ideas and brainstorm with your fellow owners. They can offer their advice and insights from past experience.
Learn About Yourself
As you're learning from your fellow small business owners, you also have the chance to learn more about yourself. Interacting with others can help you practice your communication skills and develop an elevator pitch about your business--a short description of your business that can be delivered in 60 seconds or less, in a conversational way. Our Small Biz Buzz members learn a great deal about what is current in business trends, what works for people in similar businesses, and prompts them to look at their business in a new light.
Try New Things
One of the greatest challenges of small business ownership is staying relevant and top of mind for consumers. Forming these relationships can help spark new ideas and push you outside of your comfort zone. It can help inspire you to try new things you wouldn't have thought of on your own. Our members often comment that the community has helped them learn more about social media, marketing, and techniques for growing a small business.
Being a small business owner comes with many challenges, but it's important to remember there is a built-in community of other people just like you to learn from. Are you making the most of it?