Saturday, July 05, 2008

Minding The Business: Online Business Groups

I'm a small business owner. Yep, and probably if you're reading this, you are too. Small business is hard, it has a high rate of failure so how can you manage your business and make it successful?

I started a business group in the winter of 2005-2006. I wanted to talk marketing marketing marketing, or in other words, how to get myself out there. It's the hardest part of small business for me, and is one of the most important. I assumed I wasn't alone.

I contacted a few cyber friends and started a closed business group. Not to be elitist but to create an atmosphere where we all knew one another and could feel comfortable. That just doesn't happen on an open board. So I created a "think tank" for beadmakers of all media, glass, clay, poly clay, etc. I set up a Yahoo group, but you can set up a group in Google or any other way that's easiest for you. I kept the group closed so we could discuss any issue we wanted without worrying about starting a flame war.

I'd recommend a business group to any female small business owner. As a woman, I have a different style than a man and find it difficult to promote myself. It's been a change in the way I think about myself and my work.

A group can go stale and start to die out, though. It's important to re-invigorate a group and invite new members periodically to keep it alive and growing. A virtual conference table can help you mind your business well.

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