In business, making an active effort to support the entrepreneurial community can be game-changing for your company’s growth. After all, these individuals have been through similar experiences and challenges as business owners themselves, and can often help you navigate them.
However, to gain the support of your fellow entrepreneurs, you have to be willing to give back to them. If you’re not sure where to begin, eight Young Entrepreneur Council members explained some simple methods for supporting other business owners and why it’s important for all entrepreneurs to do so.
1. Join Peer Groups
There are many networking events and entrepreneurial groups intended to build a community for business owners. These groups allow you to relate to others in your industry, learn new things, keep up with the trends and form lasting relationships. Entrepreneurship can be lonely, so it’s important to use the resources you have to meet with other business leaders and share your perspective. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
2. Find Similar Passions And Get Involved
I find the best way to support other leaders is to find similar passions and get involved together. Most cities have leadership groups run through the chamber of commerce or civic groups through nonprofits. When you are working alongside each other for nonbusiness reasons, you can grow your relationship organically and form a camaraderie based on your mutual desire to build up your community. Most of my business relationships have come through my civic and community engagement groups locally. Those who are passionate about giving their time and helping others succeed are those whom you want to do business with later on. – Ashley Sharp, Dwell with Dignity
3. Form A Partnership
Partnerships help grow and nurture the overall value you and other entrepreneurs bring to society. Those partnerships come to fruition in different ways. One would be investing in the ventures of other entrepreneurs. Silicon Valley has a reputation for doing this very well. Successful entrepreneurs contribute funds, expertise and networks to other entrepreneurs working on their startups, giving those new businesses a greater chance at success. Everyone benefits from the process. Investors do fulfilling work while increasing their wealth, startup entrepreneurs make their dreams come true and society is better for it as a problem gets solved and jobs are created. There are very many other ways to partner with other entrepreneurs as well. – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS
4. Offer Support Via Social Media
The simplest way for most businesses to support each other right now is via social media and other online channels. Join groups related to your industry and follow people who have interesting blogs, video channels, podcasts and other content. If you engage with and share other people’s content, they are likely to return the favor. It’s best to develop a mentality of cooperation rather than competition. It’s really a win-win situation when you network and expand your reach and help others do the same. – Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting
5. Become A Mentor
I see knowledge as something you can give away endlessly and share to introduce reciprocity. Remember, just because someone else is doing well doesn’t mean you are doing worse. When you see an entrepreneur succeed, feel as though it is your own success. There is room enough for everybody. You can’t put a number on the value of general goodwill. Mentors were so important to me in my journey as an entrepreneur. Sometimes, the best you can do is pay it forward and be that same mentor for others. You’ll be glad you did. It is always worth it. – Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts
6. Aim For Inclusivity
Look for who isn’t being included in the normal entrepreneur groups and invite them. I realized that I was part of a few groups for business owners where every time I was the only woman. I brought this up, started asking why other female entrepreneurs weren’t invited and got them on the invite list the next time. It sounds like a small thing, but I see it as a way that I can help to make those spaces more inclusive by just looking around and asking, “Who isn’t here that should be?” – Kelsey Raymond, Influence & Co.
7. Hire Them
If you need tax help, don’t go with a major company; choose an independent who is reputable in your area. Need marketing assistance? Use the same strategy. Oftentimes, you’ll receive even better quality of service when going this route, you’ll build a relationship for life and you’ll have a partner in business overall. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
8. Recommend Them To Your Customers
As a big brand, you can always support small businesses and startups by recommending them to your customers. You can do that in a face-to-face conversation with your consumers, through an email notification or even through a phone call. Sometimes it can also be enough to mention them on social media. This will not only help small and new businesses get the exposure they need, but it can also help them earn some new customers for themselves. – Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite
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