If you’re a small business owner, you’re probably comfortable wearing multiple hats as you switch between the roles of owner, recruiter, marketer and customer service manager all in the same day. While the diverse range of tasks can be a fun part of running a small business, it also often requires that you learn new skills on the fly. The question is: Where do you learn those skills, and who can provide support?
In recent years, there has been an explosion of online communities that connect entrepreneurs with industry experts, offering instant access to support and tips that can help you run your business better, as well as access to special deals and advocacy campaigns that support the broader community.
Here are the top five advantages of joining an online small business network:
Meet people who share your perspective
We know that running a small business can often be a solitary endeavour. That’s why trading stories with people in a similar situation can help lighten the load. Online communities like Enterprise Nation can help you tap into a wide network of like-minded people who share your struggles and can provide insights based on their own experiences.
Connect with teams of experts
Whether you want to know more about using social media to market your business, or you have questions about exporting to Asia, a small business community can connect you with industry insiders ready to share their expertise.
Access exclusive deals for your business
A cheaper energy plan, a business loan designed specifically for small businesses, access to affordable technology — a cost-effective deal can make all the difference when it comes to staying in the black. That’s another advantage of communities like Save the High Street — they can work on your behalf to secure the best deals and negotiate better offers.
Small business owners are famously short on time, so it’s especially valuable to have access to all the tools you need to launch, run and grow your operation. Whether you’re looking for newsletter templates or guides to running Facebook advertising, online small business communities can help you tick those everyday tasks off your checklist.
Get support when lobbying for your interests.
As we all know, the voice of many can be louder than the voice of an individual. When you join a small business community, you can put your voice behind causes that matter to you and other similar business owners—whether that’s public holidays, taxation or globalisation. Joining a community means you have the power of their campaigning voice behind you, and the perfect platform to share your feedback and see how you can impact the broader discussion.