10 Key Benefits of a Supportive Business Community

The Key Benefits of a Supportive Business Community

In the crazy world of business, finding the right community which aligns with your values and goals can be a minefield in itself, never mind finding one that also offers holistic support without the feeling of it being too ‘woo’.

As a business owner myself, I’ve tried lots of online communities – some free and some paid but I’ve always found that they never quite tick my boxes.

Please understand, I’m not saying there was anything wrong with them but they all had a clear niche/focus in terms of the topic they covered and there’s definitely a need for communities which have a clear niche. For example, digital marketing, email marketing, or a specific social media platform. Or there are those which are for women only or just for mums. Again, I have no issue with those and I am still part of some amazing communities that offer valuable insights and I learn from them but it still feels like something is missing. A space which encompasses various aspects of business whilst also taking into consideration the realities of life.

A Quest for a Holistic Community

Through my quest to find a particular type of community and realising I kept hitting a brick wall, I decided to create my own, and I called it InclUSion. A peer-to-peer business community that pushes the boundaries of most traditional communities. This isn’t just a space to talk business strategy and tactics, it’s a home for genuine connection, where InclUSioners (members) can share anything without fear of judgement.

The focus of this blog is to explain the benefits of a supportive business community from a generic perspective, but I will also highlight how I achieve this within InclUSion.

The Dynamic World of Business

In the dynamic world of business, we all know it’s an interesting journey of highs and lows. Whether you’re a business owner, freelancer, contractor or stay-at-home worker, the importance of a supportive business community cannot be overstated. In this blog, I want to highlight the benefits of creating a strong network and how it can help you to thrive.

It is about community over competition and how it makes you feel.

Louisa van Vessem

1. Collaborative Opportunities

Building a supportive community can open doors in a way you might not have envisaged. By connecting with like-minded individuals, you can discover new opportunities for partnerships and collaborations. Whether those are new business opportunities, working together because of the relationships developed or a chance to support each other through PR methods.

Achieved in InclUSion: It’s been really exciting to see the different collaborations that have happened such as InclUSioners asking if anyone would like to join them on their podcast, IG and LinkedIn lives and guest blogs. There’s also a lot of work being passed between each other because InclUSioners are seeking help from those with skills and experiences they don’t have and this is because of learning more about them within the community.

2. Knowledge Sharing

Within a business community, knowledge often flows freely without asking for anything in return. Members are often keen to support and help one another and engaging with peers allows you to tap into a world of expertise, gaining insights and different perspectives and that helps you to grow personally and professionally.

Achieved in InclUSion: This happens frequently within the hub because of the different threads specific to a range of topics with InclUSioners asking for feedback, advice and ideas. In addition, there are monthly Focus Sessions run by me on a requested topic and occasionally InclUSioners run masterclasses. These are available to watch on replay.

3. Emotional Support

Let’s be honest, running a business, freelancing or working from home can be isolating at times. A supportive community provides a space for sharing experiences, challenges and wins (no matter how small they may seem), offering the emotional support you need.

Achieved in InclUSion: Whether it be the private messages I receive, the messages left in the Hub to share with other members or open and honest conversations during Zoom sessions. I often hear how InclUSioners feel like the community offers a safe and supportive space for them to talk openly.

4. Networking Events

Whether online or in person, there are lots of ways of networking from attending specific networking events through to workshops, webinars, and get-togethers with other professionals. Developing and building relationships can lead to new clients, customers and collaborations.

Achieved in InclUSion: Within our online community, I host weekly events on Zoom. In addition, I host a regular online networking event which is open to non-members. It’s relaxed and informal with breakout sessions and no 60-second pitches. The events are open to everyone, it just so happens that the one below only had women attending it.

Image shows a group of 16 women, some looking festive - an example of a supportive business community.

5. Access Resources

Some communities offer resources such as training, pre-recorded videos, courses and documents, whilst others focus on creating an online community with no live sessions or training but have an online chat forum.

Achieved in InclUSion: Within the community, members can access a range of weekly events and access to previous sessions. Members often share resources for feedback and testimonials.

6. Diverse Perspectives

Interacting with individuals outside of your immediate friendship groups and family offers diverse and interesting perspectives. This can spark creativity and innovative ideas whilst offering alternative approaches to problem-solving.

Achieved in InclUSion: Within our community, we have a diverse range of people, ranging from personal and professional experiences to the way we think and live. For example, as founder of InclUSion I have chronic health conditions, I am a late diagnosed autistic female and I am solo parenting to an autistic child. I’ve also gained experience within a wide range of industries in the UK and overseas.

7. Accountability Partnerships

Setting and achieving goals and intentions become more achievable when you are held accountable. Having a place to share them, track progress and celebrate success can make a massive difference. Taking part in co-working sessions can also assist in making progress with your goals.

Achieved in InclUSion: Get involved with our weekly accountability thread, bi-weekly co-working sessions and quarterly goal planning workshops, as well as sharing your successes so that we can cheerlead you on and celebrate with you.

8. Develop New Skills

Continuous learning makes a huge difference to your personal and professional development, enabling you to grow and thrive. Getting involved in conversations and gaining new insights is part of this and through supportive business communities, they can facilitate skill-sharing sessions, workshops and mentoring.

Achieved in InclUSion: Enhance your skills through the various live events and the conversations that take place in the hub.

9. Market Insights

Stay informed about what’s going on by taking note of the conversations that go on within communities on specific topics and don’t be afraid to ask questions, especially if you are unsure of anything.

Achieved in InclUSion: Quite often, InclUSioners will share news and updates within the community on varying topics so that members can be aware. This is where having members from different backgrounds/fields makes a big difference.

10. Increased Resilience

When you feel as though you’re on a rollercoaster because there are lots of highs and lows, being part of a business community acts as a support network. Through shared experiences and problem-solving, you can build resilience and navigate those challenging times together.

Achieved in InclUSion: InclUSion is all about offering peer-to-peer support and it’s why friendships often develop because of a genuine desire to look out for one another and check-in and make sure people are okay.

Disadvantages to Consider

  1. Time commitment: Consider how many communities you are part of, why you’re part of them, what you gain from them and how much time you give to them.
  2. Overreliance: Sometimes they can feel too much like a safety net and you can become too reliant on them for decision-making, especially if you’re not overly confident.
  3. Conflicting advice: Whilst having a diverse range of thoughts, ideas and opinions can be great, make sure it’s constructive and don’t be swayed if you’re unsure and your gut is telling you it’s not right. Consider the information carefully.
  4. Potential for distractions: Watch your time. It’s easy to keep looking for notifications and/or getting involved with online events hosted by different communities but ask yourself what the ROI (return on investment) is.
  5. Privacy concerns: Like with anything, whether it’s in-person or online, be aware of the information you share and what you say. Could it be shared outside of the community? Could it lead to any negative repercussions?

Building and nurturing a supportive business community is a powerful strategy for personal and professional growth but remember that the strength of a community relies upon its members actively contributing and supporting one another.

Choosing the Right Community

All communities are different and they all have their pros and cons. My honest advice, take some time to think about what you want to gain from being part of a community and why.

If you’re looking for a supportive business community, think about what that means to you because it’s going to be different for everyone. It’s a little like the word success. It means something different to everyone.

Thinking specifically about my community, InclUSion, you can learn more about it here or book a call with me and let’s have a chat. I’m sure you’re intrigued to know how much it costs… it is £19.99 per month and you can sign up for a minimum of one month. Now for one more link for you to check out and it’s the event listing. Sessions happen on different days at different times to help with changing schedules and time zones.

I hope to see you in InclUSion soon.

Image showing Zoom call. Visible are five women, 1 man and someone's name.

About Louisa van Vessem

Ingenious Corner - Louisa van Vessem in Black and White smiling

Hey there! I’m Louisa, and I’m all about teaming up with freelancers, business owners, entrepreneurs, and contractors to help ignite your journey to success.

Think of me as your go-to creative companion, business confidante, and your personal sounding board and cheerleader, all rolled into one. My goal? To serve up a mix of awesome ideas, strategic wisdom, crystal-clear guidance, and a dash of accountability and camaraderie. We’re not just about the destination. We’re all about enjoying the ride and keeping things refreshingly simple and fun.

If you’re on the lookout for a friendly guide to help navigate your business adventures, I’m all ears! Let’s grab a virtual cuppa and chat about the exciting possibilities ahead. Can’t wait to connect!

Let’s connect on social media

Don’t worry, I’m not spending lots of time on social media, I repurpose content across channels at different times.

LinkedIn | Instagram – Ingenious Corner | Instagram – InclUSion | TikTok – Ingenious Corner | TikTok – InclUSion | Pinterest | YouTube

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