Now is the time to connect. Whether you have been separated from friends and family over the past year, have struggled to get your business out there, or have been otherwise unable to do the things you want to do, now is a great time to get creative and reconnect with the community around you. The same is true in business.
Being part of a community is powerful. It is not only essential for our mental health and wellbeing, but it’s also a vital element of a thriving business. A sense of community is important between businesses and customers, and also between employers and employees.
With the tips below, you can start to build a business that is not only a positive part of the wider community, but one that also fosters a positive community within the business itself.
1. Host Events
Community is of course about bringing people together, and what better way to do that than by hosting events? You could perhaps hold conferences, conventions, or networking events and set them up online, if needs be.
For example, during national lockdowns, many businesses or educational institutions around the world took their programmes and services entirely online.
Live-streamed conferences, Q&As, and tutorials are especially popular and can be hosted via websites or social media platforms. This can be a great way to connect with potential clients and customers who may be all over the world, as well as those who are more local but might have limited mobility.
Attending a wide variety of events both online and in-person – or even organizing them yourself – is an excellent way to build a strong and supportive community for your business. Not only will you be giving genuine value and knowledge to others, but you will receive the same in return.
2. Get Involved Locally
Even if you are a global or international business, or operate entirely online, you can still contribute to your local area. You are providing value and growth to the local population – even if indirectly – so why not make an effort to connect with your community and get involved?
This might include donating to local causes, getting engaged with fundraisers, offering internships or work experience for local students, giving encouraging talks or speeches in schools, and more.
There may also be some complimentary local businesses with whom you could collaborate. You could run joint offers with them, for example, or joint advertisements. And if you have similar or crossover skillsets, perhaps you could join forces on particular projects.
Whether you are building a community online or in person, reaching out to potential collaborators can reap real rewards.
3. Outsource To Experts
Building a community starts within your business, branches out to your customers, and can also include those who you outsource to! Outsourcing important aspects of your business to experts is a great way to save time, make use of others’ skills, and grow your business organically.
Outsourcing to an expert might mean entrusting your blog to a professional writer with knowledge of search engine optimisation, for example, of maximizing your opportunities in tendering by hiring a bid writing professional, or by seeking guidance on technical subjects such as GDPR regulations, perhaps.
These are all examples of outsourcing crucial business facets to experts who might have years of valuable experience.
Through outsourcing in this way you can help the community by providing work and building a collective with knowledge and expertise, while giving your business the best chance of success.
4. Start From Within
Building a community is not only about looking outward at your wider surroundings. It is also about looking inward and reflecting on the community that you are building within your own business – however large or small.
It can be helpful to consider the values and mission of your business overall, and how you can reflect them within your business culture.
For example, your values might include originality, innovation, and self-expression. Think about the ways you could encourage these values among your workforce – such as by scheduling regular creative activities or field trips for your team members, perhaps.
Another great way to build additional community within your business can be to attend events or training courses together. You could perhaps begin by researching the certifications or qualifications that are most valued or relevant to your industry, and then get started.
You and your workforce will not only build great team values and stronger connections, but will be more qualified too.