4 Best Online Communities for Entrepreneurs
If you don’t already belong to a network of entrepreneurs within your community, you may be feeling isolated and alone. Being a small business owner can be a difficult task, and every entrepreneur should focus on building a support network for advice, encouragement, opportunities, and resources.
Keeping control of your work-life balance as an entrepreneur is difficult, but is well worth the effort for your mental health.
Do you live in a small town or other remote area, or do you conduct most of your business online? You can still build a digital network of coworkers and peers right from the comfort of your own home. Remember: you’re human, entrepreneurship is a marathon, and focusing on social interaction every now and again can prevent loneliness and depression.
In this article, we share some of the best online communities for entrepreneurs, and you can decide to join the ones most relevant for you.
Reddit Communities for Entrepreneurs
If you haven’t spent too much time on the site, you may be surprised to discover that it also attracts a very thriving community of entrepreneurs, who post in subreddits like /r/BusinessHub, /r/growmybusiness, and /r/startups. Not only can you read posts from other members, but you can also post questions yourself and gain advice from other users.
One of the most popular posts of all time is “My startup bombed and I lost everything.” It’s a great example of community building, where the story of one user blossomed into a massive conversation with over 140 comments.
And because Reddit is constantly getting new content at all times, it’s a nice little diversion from your daily grind. Of course, it’s important that you be careful — it’s easy to fall down the Reddit rabbit hole, and time spent on Reddit can quickly snowball if you don’t take account of how you spend your time.
‘Ask a Manager’ Lets You Spread Your Knowledge
As a small business owner, do you struggle with hiring and firing specifically? Then you’ll want to check out Ask a Manager, where HR expert Alison Green answers readers’ questions in an advice column format.
To add to Alison’s expertise, regular readers chime in with their wisdom in the comments.
Interesting questions include “What should I say to an employee who’s requesting too much time off?” and “What do I do when my employer pressures us to volunteer for its charitable events?” There is a deep archive to sort through, so take a look to see if your question has already been answered or investigated before asking it yourself.
Of course, if you’re not interested in asking questions, it’s also a great place to help provide answers and share your own knowledge and experience with other folks in the entrepreneurial community. There’s even a podcast available on all major podcast channels that expands the questions into thoughtful dialogues with Alison Green and callers.
Slack Helps You Connect
Slack is a collaborative communication channel that teams use to communicate among themselves, especially when members of the team work remotely. However, some people are now using it as a networking platform for special interests like entrepreneurship and marketing.
Grassroots Slack communities for entrepreneurs include CRO Growth Hacks, Online Geniuses, Startup, and more. You must submit a request to join these communities, but the effort is worth the reward: access to many other people also trying to launch and grow their businesses.
There are tons of other public and invite-only Slack communities specifically for entrepreneurs, product managers, and members of all strata of the business community worth checking out.
Slack is also incredibly helpful to community building because it already pairs with so many existing applications. Collaborate with other entrepreneurs through Quip, integrate Google Hangouts to bring your existing contacts into Slack, or use DiggBot to grab and share content with your new Slack contacts in the entrepreneur community.
LinkedIn’s Bright Ideas and Entrepreneurs
There are private and public LinkedIn groups open to entrepreneurs with any interest. These social media networking communities for entrepreneurs are a fantastic place to share creative thoughts, ideas, and even failures.
Did you know that over 260 million people use LinkedIn? With that many users, there’s bound to be a community that’s right for you. Startup Specialists is a LinkedIn community specifically for those entrepreneurs looking to connect with like-minded business pioneers. Executive Suite connects top-tier business execs to share stories, learning resources, and leadership wisdom. And Entrepreneur’s Network is one of the LinkedIn communities for entrepreneurs that can’t be missed — it shares innovations, thought leadership, and educational resources with all of its members.
Did you know that more than 20,000 people are already part of this group? You’re bound to find some like-minded individuals and form mutually-beneficial business relationships, even if these relationships are based online. And even just a few simple tricks can increase your engagement, so anyone can gather a ton of new friends and followers on LinkedIn.
With all these communities at your fingertips, you should never feel alone. The best part about them is that most people who belong to these communities want to help others, and they’ll be excited to chime in and answer any questions you may have.