Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Again, how sparse is your hometown?

If you live where the buffalo roam, networking with other entrepreneurs is crucial.

Alistair Nolan, at a Main Streets of Tomorrow conference in Kansas City in the late 1990s, said that "entrepreneurs who develop and maintain ties with other entrepreneurs outperform those who do not." How do you network when no other people are near you? You connect with people of similar interests on line. A profile on LinkedIn or Facebook is not sufficient. You need to go where other business owners in your field go. Engage with them.

Another fact from Nolan is that "businesses that are started by teams of entrepreneurs are more likely to succeed than those started by individuals." That could be another discouraging fact for those of us in sparsely-populated regions. But it really only means that you need to create virtual teams. Some of the most innovative new companies I'm seeing are composed of teams who rarely meet. Some of them NEVER meet. You are not obligated to hire people in your neighborhood, so you are free to find the most creative people in the world for your teams.

The summary: networking and team-building will require more creativity for you. But you also have the world as your neighborhood. You don't need to rely on the Chamber of Commerce for support.

Think locally, recruit globally.

No comments: