GROW YOUR GARDENING BUSINESS – ONLINE COMMUNITIES
The sixth instalment in our series of tips for growing your gardening business looks at online communities and how they can help you and your business.
As the owner of Jackson Garden Services, a Plymouth-based gardening and landscaping company, I have successfully grown my gardening business and gained a strong client base in the process using a combination of direct and indirect marketing (both online and offline). Since I started the company in 2018, we’ve gone from being a small, fledgeling business to a successful and popular company with a small team and strong client base, due to a combined approach of working hard, being great at what we do and having a successful and useful approach to marketing the business.
An often-overlooked area of building your business is the role online communities and forums can take in your overall business support and growth system. These communities can provide business owners with free access to industry experts, fellow business owners and consumers with an interest in their industry to help build online authority and a support system.
ONLINE COMMUNITIES – HOW THEY CAN WORK FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Online communities are the perfect place to connect with potential customers, fellow business owners and industry experts. Whether you’re seeking some support with staffing and hiring a team, advice on how to launch a new service or simply want to make some connections; an online forum is a great way to connect to a valuable community.
Some great online communities include:
- Business Advice Forum
- UK Business Forums
- Start Up Nation
Online forums are a fantastic, free resource hub for businesses of all sizes and are often overlooked. No matter whether you’re a new business owner or a veteran in your industry, it’s always helpful to have a good support system in place to bounce ideas off and come to for advice. Online communities are one of the easiest and most reliable ways to build and nurture these kinds of relationships, as you can reach out for advice and ask questions or participate in discussions to engage with fellow business owners. With a wealth of information from a wide range of sources, you can discuss and get some help and support on all kinds of business topics, from growth strategies and business planning to advice on best HR practices and increasing your service offering.
Aside from providing you with a great support system, these kinds of communities are also a great way to network, without the need to pay for costly memberships or subscriptions. Networking is a reliable way to generate leads, form connections and build relationships within your industry and beyond. You can also explore opportunities for new services, joint ventures or even businesses who could act as trusted partners in your area, all for free. In my experience, this kind of support and socialisation is invaluable and has a real benefit to the way your business can grow and develop.
When you sign up to an online community, make sure you create a strong and informative profile. Add information like your company website address, your contact information, a brief overview of what you do and what your company offers as well as a high-quality profile image (ideally of you in your company uniform or your logo if you prefer) to make your profile as compelling and professional-looking as possible. This not only helps to deliver a level of reliability and authenticity to your activities on the forums but as a fringe benefit, it could also help you to attract some new clients.
Check back next time for our seventh edition, breaking down the importance of website speed and performance and how you can optimise your site. In the meantime, you can connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linked In; I’m always happy to chat!