If small businesses really are the solution to our economic woes, how do we make that happen?
Communities need to embrace businesses around them.
Business owners need to partner and work out deals to support each other.
Consumers need to spend their hard earned dollars in their neighborhoods.
Local is the new global. Look at an organization like Unique LA. Their push is to "buy local" and strengthen your community. If each city took care of themselves, we could turn this economy around. It's going back to pre-internet times where you'd buy what's around you. Picture links in a chain. We're stronger together.
Networking is like forming a partnership. Local events draw local crowds. The same thing you and I do to build our personal network can be done on the local level. Connect online, but meet in person. It's easier to build trust face to face. Aim to build local partnerships. It's the pulse of your community.
Local growth is organic. Visit your local farmer's market. Nothing fancy, just good product delivered consistently. Everyone starts small, but treat your customers right and they become your salespeople. It may take longer, but in the end it's more sustainable.
I've been fortunate enough to experience this at a group I created called Career Synergy. We have monthly network meetings where the motto is "relationships first, business second." This inclusive community has a friendly, give-first attitude that's infectious. Personally, I've invested my time building new and strengthening old relationships which I know will result in the collective success of the group.
Wondering how to get started? Step outside your home and reach out to the local businesses in your neighborhood. Introduce yourself and offer your hand to support them. We can turn the economy around together, not apart. Nothing great is accomplished alone. Who will you partner with in your community?