As an entrepreneur, you are part of an elite group of professionals who have started their own business. Along the journey to become an entrepreneur and to create a startup company, there are pitfalls you should watch out for.
But how can you watch out for them if you don’t know they’re coming? That’s why it’s so important for entrepreneurs to connect. One of the best ways to connect with your fellow entrepreneurs is to use online communities and resources.
There are dozens and dozens of options for online communities and they all have unique properties that will make them a good choice for you. All you have to do is know your options and make the best choice for you. In this article, we discuss some of the options you have for online entrepreneur communities and what they have to offer you. With the connections you make, you can be sure you’ll get the tips and tricks you need to see your startup thrive.
You’ve worked hard to get to where you are. Whether your business is growing steadily, your startup is brand new, or you simply have the seed of an idea, you’ll need help throughout your journey. And what better way to get the help you need than by asking other entrepreneurs? With the internet, we have the most amazing opportunity to connect with our peers and entrepreneurs are no different.
Some of the best resources you have as an entrepreneur are the online communities focused on entrepreneurship. In many of these communities, you have the opportunity to connect with other entrepreneurs and learn their tips and tricks to get you to where you want. Other communities involve an education focus and others are even for socializing with like-minded people.
Here are just some of the best online communities for entrepreneurs and what they offer you.
As we mentioned, some of the online communities options you have involve education. This can be invaluable especially as a brand new entrepreneur. Check out some of the education-centered options you have available:
As possibly the largest community of startups, founders, innovators, and creators, Startup Grind is a great place for any entrepreneur to start when they want to increase their business knowledge. According to their website, they offer “local events, flagship conferences, startup programs, partnerships, and online media and content.” They can give you the “education, opportunities, and access” you need to “build, grow, and scale [your] company.”
This blog describes itself as “community based,” so all the content you see is either created or posted by the users. It’s a valuable resource in increasing your knowledge while also having the opportunity to create your own content that links back to your own website. This will help you build a community around your own business.
The name says it all: this is a platform focused on increasing your entrepreneurial knowledge. The best part is that it’s free and totally online so you can study anywhere, anytime. They also offer a Future Founders course for those who are at the idea stage and need to know the first steps to building a startup. With the information you learn from other startup founders, you’ll get the guidance you need to reach the next level of your success.
Knowing what products, apps, and platforms are available to improve and grow your business is crucial in making sure you have all the tools you need to continue growing your startup. With Product Hunt, you can find out about the best new products while also having a community of business owners and entrepreneurs to connect with. This includes the latest mobile apps, websites, hardware projects, and tech creations.
The key to building business relationships is networking. It doesn’t have to be through attending events and conferences or spending a fortune on business cards. Today, networking is digital and easy to do from home. Check out these networking communities you can take advantage of:
CoFoundersLab describes itself as an “ecosystem” that “supports founders in building and growing successful ventures.” They do this by connecting you with other startup and business owners through an AI algorithm. With the automatic matching, it cuts out the leg work for you and allows you to focus on making those lasting connections.
Built like a traditional forum, Fastlane Forum aims to “encourage entrepreneurs to become valued contributors to society, successful, financially independent, and self sufficient.” They use a base level of knowledge by recommending their users read some material first, then you have the opportunity to connect with your fellow entrepreneurs in an open style of communication.
With an easy-to-use platform, MakerPad is a modern forum that still allows for open threads of communication but in a much more palatable style. They also have more than 250 tutorials that you can draw from.
All the female entrepreneurs should listen up, because this networking community is specifically for you. Women in business is key with GirlBoss, which operates under the motto “Ambition Begins Here.” This site aims to be a place where “women support women” and users can ask for advice without fear of judgment. At its core, it’s a community of women in all areas of business to exchange ideas, find the guidance they need and connect with like-minded professionals.
If you want to connect with the right entrepreneurs, this is the site for you. Makers Club works by setting you up on a 1 to 1 basis with other business professionals to “build your network to grow your project, business, or career.” With two targeted matches a month, it allows you to curate a select team of people that you can turn to for advice along the way.
There are dozens of forums available for entrepreneurs. Since they don’t necessarily offer the training you might be looking for but are a key resource in getting the real-world advice you want from other business owners and entrepreneurs. They are often very similar so the key to finding the right one for you is finding the community that best matches with your personality. A couple of good options to start with are Indie Hackers and Builder Society. Both are focused on helping connect entrepreneurs and have different message boards and threads that you can post on to get answers and opinions to questions you have about your specific business.
Being an entrepreneur is a unique experience. Being the entrepreneur of a business still in the startup phase is even more unique. You are dealing with different challenges and obstacles that entrepreneurs with a more established business. That’s why it can be helpful to find a community centered on helping startups. Here are a few options to look into:
This community is meant completely for startup founders. It says on the official website that it’s a place to “trade skills, find/offer mentorship, collaborate on projects.” Simply put, it’s a community of startup founders for startup founders and meant to give you the support and help you need in this critical time in your business.
Set up more like a traditional forum, Startup Nation says they “encourage active group discussions with like-minded entrepreneurs sharing tips and valuable advice.” Wherever you are on your startup journey, you will find someone who’s been there on Startup Nation. The fact that it’s an active community is a huge bonus, especially when you need information quickly.
Startup Alliance describes itself as a “global community of committed entrepreneurs, working together to drive innovation and create value worldwide.” This is a community meant to help you “overcome challenges and win” as a startup founder. If you have an issue you’re facing in your startup, this might be the first place you go.
One of the best parts of online communities is the social aspect. Even when you aren’t talking about business, connecting with like-minded people going through the same experience as you are can lift your spirits when the days are tough and can give you the support system you need when it all feels like too much and you want to quit. Here are some of the social communities you might consider looking into:
As far as social network sites go, LinkedIn has the reputation of being one of the most reputable. It allows you to connect while having the focus stay on your business history, yet it’s still a great place to make connections and stay socially active. The following LinkedIn groups are great places for entrepreneurs:
Whether you’re using it to keep up with friends and family or to find the community of people where you belong, Facebook is there to make the connections. This is especially true within their Facebook groups, where you can find a group for just about any passion, hobby, career, or passing interest. Check out these options meant for entrepreneurs:
Reddit can be a little overwhelming when you start using it, but with millions of users and set up like a forum, but with a much broader scope – meaning there’s a page for everything – Reddit can be a great place for entrepreneurs to get broad contact with other business people. Users can also share educational materials that might come in handy just when you need them. The following groups – known as “sub-Reddits” – could be exactly the resource you’re looking for:
A social platform you may not have heard of yet is Slack. It’s frequently used as a communication platform that connects employees and allows them to communicate in essentially a large group chat. But you can also join the conversation on a variety of channels. Look into the following entrepreneur-focused channels:
Whichever community you choose, you can find incredible resources by simply connecting with other business owners and startup entrepreneurs online. With the connections you make, your knowledge of the space will grow, your capabilities as a startup founder and entrepreneur will increase, and your business will continue to grow.
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