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Building a network: Where to get support as a new business

Building a network: Where to get support as a new business

Solomon Thimothy is on a mission to help as many entrepreneurs as possible start and scale their businesses. | President of OneIMS.

Taking the leap and launching a business is a huge step for any entrepreneur. It involves risk, sacrifice, commitment, and above all, an unwavering belief in what you’ve set out to create. 

Where so many new business owners fall short is when they convince themselves that they can build their business entirely on their own. 

When my brother and I founded our digital marketing agency, we went into it totally blind. Looking back on the experience, there is no doubt in our minds, we would have gotten to where we are today a whole lot quicker if we had developed a support network sooner. 

The reality is, starting a fast-growing business without building a business network is virtually impossible. Acknowledging that and being able to put your ego aside will allow you to form connections with people who have the experience, expertise, and willingness to share their knowledge – giving you the leg up you need on the journey to success.

Sign up to a Chamber of Commerce

Easily one of the most resourceful networks, Chambers of Commerce cover all the bases for new business owners. From access to funding to specialist advisers, mentoring programs, member discounts and everything in between, signing up to your local Chamber is a no-brainer. With access to one of the largest business networks in your area, you will have regular opportunities to meet with other business owners, virtually and in person, learn from those who have made their mark, share your products or services with other members, and develop a real sense of community. Your affiliation with the Chamber of Commerce is also a sure way to show clients and customers that you represent a trusted, credible business with connections to wider industry circles. 

Join an online business community

An online business group, page, or network is a digital space where business people can come together to share ideas and experiences, trade skills, seek advice, and build relationships with people who are at all different stages of their business careers. The best part about it? You can access it from wherever you are, whenever you like. Another bonus that comes with joining an online community is being able to connect without the limitations of location. Whether you’re in Argentina or Antarctica, your online community can include people from all corners of the globe. This is particularly beneficial for businesses that have an international audience to gain insights and understanding of different client or customer needs.

Check out local business events

With so many online business tools and platforms available to entrepreneurs, opportunities to interact with others in the business industry can seem few and far between. While doing business in the digital sphere has so many benefits, nothing compares to meeting and engaging with other entrepreneurs face-to-face. Attending local business events is one of the best ways to get to know the businesses in your area, relate to the environment they operate in, and connect with like-minded people. From guest speaker events to brainstorming sessions, retreats, seminars, and mix-and-mingle cocktail nights, it’s a fantastic way to get you and your business out there and in front of the right people. Who knows, you might walk away from an event with a whole host of indispensable insights, a new business contact, or even a few leads.

Forming Connections

Going into business is hard enough – there’s no logical reason for doing it all by yourself. It is so important as a new business to surround yourself with people who can uplift, inspire, and push you towards your goals. Sure, you may know your product or service inside-out. But building a successful business around it is a whole other story. Whether you start by joining an online community or dive head first into attending every business community event, there’s no better way to grow than learning from other entrepreneurs and experts in their field. As cliché as it may sound, as business owners, we are inevitably better when we can work together.

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