It takes a community to grow a business

I started the first weekly workshop for Biz Sprout Community last night. Mostly BNI friends attended it. There were a dozen attendees in all.

I started the weekly workshop as a venue for sharing what I learned through the years of working with startups. The goal was for new startup owners to learn from common pitfalls and avoid them. The other intention is also for them to understand the better practices in starting, operating, marketing, and leading a business.

I plan to run this workshop weekly and see the benefits. I should, however, remind myself that it’s not a numbers game. I should not let myself get caught up with the number of attendees. Helping transform the point of view and practice of one entrep is a reward in itself.

Like a former manager used to say, ‘you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot force it to drink.’

It’s also interesting to observe that not all Entreps are interested in learning better ways of starting a business. For most, it’s just a question of seeking referrals. It’s so unfortunate to see Entreps like that.

If they understood the better practices of starting a business and the importance of proper marketing, then their business would be in a much better shape months and years from now.

It’s better to learn to fish than ask for ‘referral’ fish every day.

A few interesting things I observed about the mini-workshop: although the event was boosted, only two non-BNI or friends attended. There were 45 interested, and seven will attend. Only two attended from the boost.

I read an article before that Facebook is becoming so saturated with ads that it’s difficult to cut through the noise.

Second, even if you cut through the noise, an excellent copy is still necessary. My ad resulted in 45 interested registrars. The copy did not compel them to swing to ‘attending.’

Three, I should not take it personally that the turnout of the ad-paid event was low. A marketing professional needs to try to figure out the algorithm. We also have to keep in mind that algorithms change. The patience to figure out what works separates the good marketing professional from those who pretend to be one.

It’s always good practice to stand back and assess something that happened. I need to remember to extract the lessons learned.

Learning is a lifelong journey.

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