network of linesI was asked by another business owner to share about my support system as a business owner. I liked the questions he asked and thought I would share them with you along with my answers about what I have gained through my networking community:

  1. Tell me about your business community — the one that supports you. (Name, number of people, how you got together with them.)

I feel most supported by my women business owner networking group. There are about 10 of us that meet monthly. We originally met as part of a business development group from a national networking group but when several of us decided not to up our membership we decided to stay together as a networking group and it has grown from there. I have been meeting with them for 3 years now and have developed some great friendships and business relationships!

  1. Is there a specific time or event when you really got a lot of value from that community? It could be direct value that led to business, or intangible value that helped make you more confident and successful. Tell me about that.

I have gotten business from this networking group. However, the most valuable things I have gained from this group are the intangibles. My business is only 3 years old and as any business owner knows the start up of a business can be very discouraging. It was extremely valuable for me to be encouraged by this group, overtly and also just because I could see how their businesses had grown and it gave me hope for mine. We also bounce ideas off of each other and share resources. It’s a place where I feel like I can say I don’t know what I am doing in a certain area and they gather around to help me figure it out.

  1. Was there a time when you gave back to a member of your business community something that was valuable to them? How did that go? What did it to for you?

I recently took on a long term client that has needed a lot of resources. I was able to do several referrals for those I have networked with and feel like I have gotten to know and trust over the last 3 years. My client has been very happy with all of the services I have referred to him. I LOVE connecting my clients with other business owners that can help them with things I cannot. It gives business to those I network with, it meets my clients needs, and it makes me look good because my client feels like I can meet all their needs (even if I am doing that via referrals).