THE BLOG
04/12/2016 04:49 pm ET Updated Apr 12, 2017

5 Reasons You Need Community to Grow Your Online Business

Are you feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and alone in your business? If you answered yes, you are definitely not an isolated case! Starting and growing a successful online business takes a small army, and you cannot do it with an army of one.

A common mistake most online business owners make is trying to go it alone. They struggle with the many hats they need to wear and spend hours spinning their wheels wondering if what they are doing will work, is working, or should be working. They convince themselves that "if only" they had more formal business training, believing that what it takes to be successful is found in a business text book or classroom.

I could not disagree more. The answer lies not in another tactical business course or fancy MBA degree (although these may help), but instead in your ability to create and foster relationships, find and participate in a community and leverage these for lasting success. Below are five ways actively participating in a community and building relationships will help grow your online business.

Unwavering Support

Growing your online business will be filled with ups and downs and finding support from those around you can be difficult. Being part of a community of like-minded online entrepreneurs will be the key to knowing you are not alone.

Instead of looking to your spouse, partner, brother or best friend to take on the role of business cheerleader, look to a community of colleagues who will happily cheer you on when you need it most. They will provide the belief in you even when you have lost belief in yourself.

The power of feeling supported in your online business must not be underestimated. Even if you think you do not need it, once it is there, you will understand how this is a key element for your online business success and growth.

Guidance & Advice

You are building an online empire, regardless of if you are just starting out or this is your tenth year, there will be new ceilings to break through. There will be uncharted territory. Your community of like-minded colleagues will be there to provide advice when you are stuck. And getting unstuck is sometimes more than half the battle - why sit alone in your office feeling frustrated when there is a community at your fingertips who can assist?

Your community can also be the sounding board to say this is normal. Because don't you often feel like you are the only one? I hate to break it to you, there are many that have been there before. It's about leveraging the wealth of knowledge around you and listening to those who are where you want to be. These are the individuals who will help you accelerate your business growth.

Connections & Partnerships

Actively participating in a community and building one-to-one relationships is invaluable for your online business. Through networking and building strong connections lead generation will naturally take place resulting in your business growth.

In addition, partnership opportunities will surface. From these partnerships, your online business will see accelerated business growth.

Strong connections also help open doors that you were unaware existed or open these doors faster than you anticipated. Either way, these opportunities present themselves only for those of you savvy enough to understand the importance of community and the role its play in your success.

Focus & Accountability

An often overlooked benefit of being part of a strong community is accountability. Do you ever feel like you have one million ideas and are not sure where to go next? The best place to get your answer is from a community of smart and savvy entrepreneurs who understand.

Getting yourself out of the shiny object syndrome of entrepreneurship and focused on execution will no doubt accelerate your online business growth.

Wealth of Information

A great community also provides the tactical knowledge which you so desire. The great news is all of this information is in one place, which saves you time and money. Typically you will find everything from business basics, to strategic online marketing, to the how to section of setting up your website or starting a blog.

You will also have access to best practices from other community members and can learn from their entrepreneurial stories.

Accelerating the growth of your online business is rooted in community. While tactical business know how is important, building relationships, connecting and participating within a strong community is critical to your success. It's time to let go of the army of one, and join forces. We are stronger together.

Join us here.