Deciding to start an online business is exciting. And for a while, it’s all-encompassing. Inevitably, there comes a time when you need a support network that understands your big business wins and your epic fails. These are times when it’s great to have online business buddies.
You may be wondering, what are online business buddies?
Great question. Let’s get into it.
What Are Online Business Buddies?
Online business buddies are people you “meet” online. They’re in the same Facebook groups with you or you’ve taken similar online courses and happen to be in that same online group. Maybe you discovered a few folks writing about the same things you’re writing. However you meet, your online business buddies are online entrepreneurs, like you. You’ve never met, yet you share a camaraderie and become friends as you cheer each others’ wins, support big business losses, and give on-going support to one another.
How do you find online business buddies?
Maybe I’m weird (and I may very well be weird), but I didn’t FIND online business buddies. I tried and failed. But when I stopped looking to connect with people who I thought would make great online business buddies, I started just connecting with people in various Facebook groups, on Pinterest, and on the blogs I liked. Then, BAM! I started connecting regularly with a certain number of entrepreneurs and after a few interactions, we were online business buddies.
Well, it depends who you ask.
Why do you need online business buddies?
Ok. Now you know what online business buddies are and how to find them, but you may not understand WHY you need them.
If you’re a new or intermediate online business owner, let me explain…
5 Reasons You Need Online Business Buddies
1. Working Online May Be Isolating.
When you work online, you’re all alone. There’s no way to take a 5-minute break to grab a cup of coffee and go visit with a colleague. When you work from home, you may be the only one in the house. So if you want to take a break and chat for a minute (or 30), having online business buddies make great colleagues. They help you feel less isolated on your solopreneur journey.
2. Family & Friends May Not Understand
Leaving your job OR forgoing a job to work at home and build an online business is still a foreign concept (to some people). Many people don’t quite understand it. And those who have heard of starting an online business may think it’s a scam. So, your family and friends may be less-than-supportive. That’s where your online business buddies come in handy. You can commiserate together and each can be the other’s support.
3. Resources & Tool Recommendations.
There’s nothing worse than being the new kid on the block and not knowing the best place to get something you need. When you’re isolated and working on your own, you just don’t have the network to ask for recommendations for different tools and resources. Meeting a few pals online can give you an opening to new and different information. Ultimately, the decision to buy is always yours; it’s just nice to have options (and recommendations for people you know).
4. Aid & Assistance
Horror of horrors! Your website or blog crashes. You have nothing but a white screen where your online business used to be. Who do you ask for help? What do you do? How do you keep this horror from happening again? Did you do something idiotic? Only your online business buddies can reassure you that this craziness happens to everyone. They can also tell you what they did when it happened to them. (hint: start with your hosting provider).
5. Accountability & Friendship
My favorite reason to have online business buddies is the accountability. I have online buddies now AND an online mastermind group. My online business buds are AMAZING. They give recommendations, feedback, and they aren’t afraid to tell me something stinks and needs an overhaul. The best thing is that I can (and do) reciprocate and provide equal levels of accountability and friendship to these wonderful folks. I send presents when they have new babies and enjoy catching up with them just like I enjoy when a friend drops by for an in-person visit.
If you own an online business or you want to start an online business, keep your eyes and ears open for other mompreneurs out there who need/want support. The rules for making friends online are the same as making friends in person. Be kind. Give before you receive, and be curious about other people.
Do you have online business buddies? How did you meet them? And have they been helpful?