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20 In Advice/ People

Building A Tribe of Small Business Owners

Building A Tribe of Small Business Owners #imperfectconcepts

Being a small business owner is one tough job and you really don’t know that until you are in the thick of it. As always it is nothing like what you see in the movies or on tv. Heck, it doesn’t even look like what people stage on social media. Yes, there are amazing days that make you jump for joy especially when your business is flourishing, but then there are days you want to stay in bed and crawl into a deep hole and never come out of. 

Building a tribe of small business owners to be in your corner is super important, especially on those days you need a cheerleader, a coffee date, or someone who gets what you are going through.

Get Involved

If your friends and family members are not business owners then you will have to source your tribe another way. Joining local women organizations and attending meetups is a great way. Think of SCORE, Junior League, Urban League, CRAVE and others. These organizations are built on supporting and giving back. Furthermore, attending networking events can create long-lasting relationships. At a tech event I met Lauren of Stretch Recipes. She is an amazing women that I enjoy supporting and I love being in her corner.

Foster Relationships Online

A majority of my tribe was built off of online friendships. Tiffany of T+J Designs, Katrice of My Vicarious Life, Jessica of DSR Apparel, Amy of CJW Design Company, and Kristen were all relationships that started on Twitter, Blogging, and Instagram. Now I talk to these ladies constantly. They are a great source of communication. Social media is a tool to connect not just promote. I have met amazing people because of it. I have also landed new clients and made more connections because of the people in my tribe.

Give Back

Don’t be the vampire sucker in your tribe of small business owners. Make sure you give back to the people who support you in tough times. Sending thank you cards, flowers, and gift cards are great ways to say thank you. Do it because you appreciate them not just when someone does something for you. This will help build a stronger bond between you and them.

Communicate

This is the most important aspect of building a tribe of small business owners. Most people do not know what is going on in your life. You have to communicate with them. If you are having trouble finding a website designer talk to your tribe. Maybe someone in the group can help you. Express what is going on in your life, be it personal or business.

Do you have a tribe of women that supports you and your dreams? How can you tell them thanks this holiday season?

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  • Building a tribe is so important, this is constantly reinforced as a new solopreneur. I think it is important to try all of the ideas you mentioned here and then as you learn what works better for you hone in on that. I am happy to say I am starting to form a tribe, it is small but SMALL is sometimes bigger than we realize. Thanks for sharing this!

    • imperfctconcept

      Yes, there is nothing wrong with starting with a small tribe. Mine is extremely small. Then all my clients are a separate tribe of women that I work with and they support each other.

  • kris

    This is great! I probably like many other small business owners have found that you can not talk to your friends about business because they either zone out or just can’t relate. I love sharing the information that I know with other women but I find that a lot of women in my area are iffy when it comes to helping other women or those that I’ve tried to help or partner up with take the idea or information and do what I suggested solo behind my back.

    • imperfctconcept

      Kris, you can not be bothered by those women. They were taught that. I have had the same issues in the past. Learn to dig deeper into the people you connect with. When a true bond is created they will be there to lift you up not steal ideas.

      • kris

        Thank you Cher and Tasha. God has linked me with 1 women locally and I’m so thankful for that! It’s really a sad case that some women have a hard time lifting one another up and I truly make it my mission to break that cycle or that idea amongst women in my area. Tasha can you please post information for Oklahoma. I’m even willing to travel to Texas.

        • imperfctconcept

          What part of OK are you looking for information? Are you meaning the Small Business Resource series? If so, one for OKC is coming up in Jan 2015.

          • kris

            Oklahoma City. Yes that as well. I will anxiously await the business resource series as well. Thank you.

    • Cher

      Hey Kris! I have had the same problem and I honestly have not shared my business plans with anyone besides those closest to me. I find that “strangers” are more supportive. It is very hard to build a tribe yet very essential. I believe that God puts the perfect people around you for specific things. The family and friends may not be supportive but someone is-Build with them! The resources that are shared on Imperfect Concepts for each state are helpful for networking. Meetup is a good social site with a myriad of professional groups as well.

  • Great Post Tasha! I am slowly building my “tribe.” You provide great tips and I couldn’t agree more that you need a tribe that you can count on that can relate and be supportive in your business. I also love how you said you have to communicate what you need, because you never know who can help you if you just speak up.

    • imperfctconcept

      Take your time building your tribe. You want the right people surrounding you. Only positive people who can understand what you are going through. Yes, very vital to speak up when needing help.

  • Cher

    These are great tips Tasha especially when it is so hard to actually build a tribe. It is definately a two way street when it comes to giving and being there for others during this entreprenuership journey. Communication really stands out for me because I am an introvert and as Kris said below, sometimes people just aren’t supportive. Social media/divine connections are the best!

    • imperfctconcept

      Yes, it can hurt when those closes to you are not as supportive as strangers. You have to keep the focuses. Some people do not see where you are going so they feel you are leaving them behind.

      You will find the perfect mix of current and new when it comes to building a tribe. My tribe has grown and decreased over the years but always a great core of women and men to count on.

  • I am slowly trying to build a tribe, but have been a loner for so long that it’s not as easy as I had hoped.

    • imperfctconcept

      You just have to step outside your comfort zone. Find local groups that focus on women small business owners. This will be a great way to build your tribe.

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  • A positive group of people that I trust…really liking the tribe building around me. Definitely want to give back with a few from the heart gifts this holiday.

    • imperfctconcept

      Having a tribe you love makes starting a business easier in a sense. You have others to help you.

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