Have you thought about joining a local in-person of group professionals? What has been holding you back? Some entrepreneurs are introverts by nature and are hesitant to engage in more socializing than necessary. Some doubt there is any benefit to joining professional communities.

The truth is that if you are an entrepreneur, you are selling yourself short if you aren't participating in professional communities. While you don't need to join every single related community (and you shouldn't) there are some compelling reasons you should explore communities for professionals:

1. Mentorship
Mentorship is one of the more obvious benefits of joining a group, but it is often overlooked. As an entrepreneur, you may be isolated and working in a vacuum. A Professional organization provides you with the benefits of feedback, mentorship, and networking. Having someone to talk to about your challenges can help you grow as a manager and as an entrepreneur.

2. Increased Visibility
When you are a part of a professional community, it increases your "real life" visibility. The fact is people like to do business with people they know. The more you are active in different groups, the more visibility your business will receive.

3. Access To Resources
You'll find that you experience an increase in resources and tools that help you grow your business. You may benefit from discounts with vendors and suppliers and even credit from the bank. Being part of groups gives you credibility in your community and within your organization.

4. Increased Leads And Sales
You'll have a built-in base of people who need your services and products or know someone who does. This is a huge benefit that can increase your leads and sales. Professional communities are an incredible source of fresh leads, although you must be careful to avoid overdoing it.

5. Fresh News and Perspectives
It's easy as Entrepreneurs to exist in our own little worlds, and professional communities help alleviate this problem. You'll be exposed to new ideas and news you may not normally be. In other words, you can learn new ways of doing business.

6. Staves Off Isolation
Having good old-fashioned face-to-face interactions on occasion is a good thing! And, it's even better when those interactions are with like-minded folks who are interested in the same things that interest you. Entrepreneurship can be lonely so finding people that can relate to what you are doing has many benefits from a personal and business standpoint.

Joining a professional organization makes sense from a personal and business perspective.If you haven't already done so, it's time you looked into one or more professional communities in your area. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Learn more about the power of networking in my new book The Entrepreneurs Book of Actions.