By Susan F. Moody, Co-Founder Starshine Communities, Inc
Small business owners are taking a stand about no longer going it alone. There is lots of press today about coworking spaces cropping up by the dozens all in an effort to spur entrepreneurial growth. So why are these small companies clamoring to be a part of a large, open noisy work space? Because most are corporate escapees who miss the “water cooler” conversations and interaction with their peers.
With the boom of social media supposedly taking the place of face-to-face interaction there is something to be said about creating “old school” relationships where you know more about the person than just what they are selling. Instead of the “what’s in in for me conversation”, let’s transition back to the “how can I help you” conversation.
But how do you create these connections? Many of today’s small business owners are tired of the traditional networking model where you attend an event just to pass out as many business cards as you can. If you are in business, then you’ve been there. Done that. You’ve tried to make an authentic connection only to see the look of dismissal on the other person’s face once they identify that you are not a quick mark for their product or service.
Small business owners, in particular owners of micro-businesses (organizations with five or fewer employees), are seeking real connections with real people. And, again, they no longer wish to go it alone. Which brings us to another emerging trend – collaborations between small business owners. Instead of competing against each other, more companies are merging ideas to create a stronger product or service – together. Business owners today are interested in being a catalyst for social change and collaborative efforts can bring about solutions at a swifter and more effective rate.
Organizations that cater to supporting small business owners by creating mutually-beneficial connections and encouraging collaborative efforts are a necessary component of a successful ecosystem. Once such company here in Arizona is Starshine Communities where we witness small business owners supporting collaboration over competition daily. By coming together to share what has worked and what has not, small companies are able to fast track their results. These socially conscious business owners come together to impart their wisdom, experience and best practices in an effort to collectively grow their businesses.
At Starshine Communities we focus on the brilliance of collaboration and the power of community. It is our belief that the secret ingredient for creating a flourishing business is support for the business owner – yes, YOU! Let’s face it, many small business owners work in isolation at least part of the time. And, no one succeeds by doing it all alone. That’s where we come in. . . Our collaborative small business communities foster the sharing of resources to provide solutions for your business and support for YOU, the heart and soul behind the business!
- We offer a welcoming environment where you build relationships, grow your business and take care of YOU. Starshine Communities is a place where you can be seen, heard and appreciated while developing your values-based business. As a member, you receive access to our core fundamental programs:
- Business Education Seminars: Keep up to speed on the newest marketing and managing trends by attending a Learn & Launch. Our mission with the Learn & Launch is to provide business owners with practical tips and tools to help create and grow a sustainable business. Topics based on community members’ needs and requests.
- Peer-to-Peer Mentoring: Have a business challenge and want some encouragement, support and advice from your peers? As a soulopreneur we sometimes get stuck inside of our own heads. Join in a Power Circle and hear the collective wisdom from other like-minded professionals who have your best interests at heart.
- Wellness Workshops:We believe that taking care of the person behind the business is a top priority so each month we will provide speakers on a variety of personal development, alternative therapy, and healthy topics. Learn the latest stress relief techniques and holistic practices through these sessions to Take Care of YOU!
- Accountability Partnerships: Receive support in staying on track to meet your personal and professional goals. Having an accountability partner within the community makes it more likely for you to take action if you know someone will be checking in on you – just like you will be checking in on them.
Any one of these member benefits can make the difference for your business. Put them all together and you quickly move your business to the next level. The ability to collaborate with each other is now a competitive advantage in today’s economy. The premise that “together we are stronger” is exemplified through Starshine and other collaborative communities. Banding together to make a difference through community partnerships helps to broaden the reach of all organizations involved.
Creating collaborative communities is about finding new and better ways for small business owners to work together. Coworking spaces only begin to touch on the surface of that need. Yes, they create the work space, but we still need places where people can find each other, share ideas, receive support and be acknowledged. Running your own business is a challenging, dynamic and complex undertaking. Collaboration is a more-promising way to advance the growth of these businesses where the company will not only survive – but thrive!
About Susan F. Moody
Susan F. Moody, Principal and Co-Founder of Starshine Communities Inc., an Arizona Benefit Corporation, has successfully started over 14 small businesses. She has served on the board for the Small Business Administration, been mentioned in Entrepreneur Magazine and featured on talk radio as well as NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox affiliate television stations. She is the author of “Cz the Day!”, co-author of “Beat the Curve” with Brian Tracy, and “from Resilience to Brilliance” with other successful female entrepreneurs.
Susan is a Certified Success Coach, Best-Selling Author and Inspirational Speaker whose core business focuses on helping entrepreneurs build a business that matters, makes a difference and makes money. Starshine Communities, Inc. creates collaborative communities of small business owners resulting in positive personal, social and economic impact. Each Community is designed to foster the sharing of resources to provide solutions for your business and support for YOU, the heart and soul behind the business.
Susan has a particular passion for working with woman-owned businesses and helping aspiring entrepreneurs bring their business vision to life. With that in mind, Starshine Communities, Inc. partnered with Silver Lining Riding 501c3 to launch their fiscally sponsored project “Reach for the STARs”, a scholarship program for female entrepreneurs