By Leslie Youngblood
I think entrepreneurs or small business owners are some of the busiest, nose-to-the-grindstone people I know.
Yet with that incredible work ethic can come some negatives. The first one that comes to mind is that a lot of business owners can start to feel a little isolated. And that can result in possibly not knowing about some really cool resources that are available to you right in your hometown.
So given that common problem, today I'm sharing the three most bombdiggity local resources every small business should be using.
#1: Other Local Business Owners
As I just said, being a small biz owner can be lonely.
You’re all up in your own everyday processes and challenges, but it’s extremely important to pull yourself out of that and connect with other owners or peers who know exactly what you’re going through, who have been there before, and/or can just be a friend to go and grab a drink with and decompress.
Maybe even reach out to some owners you’d love to know and invite them to a mastermind group you put together with other local doers. It costs nothing to organize a monthly meeting at a local restaurant or cafe, and a lot of great ideas could come out of it for everyone.
#2: Your Local University Or Community College
Local colleges or universities can be a great source of entry-level job applicants, a conduit to finding interns, or a place to send workers to get training on the cheap.
If your local college doesn't offer the education your workers need, let the college know. Many learning institutions are focused on meeting the needs of their local business community, so they want to hear from you. They might design a new course to suit your requirements or invite you to be a speaker at a business course, helping to build your reputation and attract new hires.
#3: Your Local Chamber of Commerce
I know that with a lot of owners, the caveat here can be membership dues. In some places it can cost $500 to join and be a member each year. But from my experience, most are often less than that, and as I said it's for an entire year's access to benefits, events and other happenings in your community.
Even if yours is pricey, most chambers will have at least the occasional free networking event you could drop in on, and many have marketing programs that can help all the businesses in their city, including yours.
You can find your local chamber through a simple Google search as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Those are my three awesome local resources you should be using as a small business owner or entrepreneur.
Are you familiar with these? Are you a chamber member or do you have a fellow biz owner network you use and turn to? Let me know!
Leslie Youngblood is the Creative Director for Excelerate America, the ultimate resource for entrepreneurs. Tell Leslie about the local resources you love and use by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.