Do you ever have those days when you work from your couch in sweatpants and don’t speak to a single soul? You send emails while blasting music and eating popcorn, just because you can.
Working from home has obvious perks: no dress code, no commute and a flexible schedule. But for a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners, independence comes at the cost of isolation.
It’s not as easy as water cooler talk with co-workers or company wide outings, but with a bit of creativity, you can develop a community while you build your business at home.
Here are six tips to help you to feel more connected:
1. Join Professional Organizations
Joining professional organizations and trade associations allows you to tap into networks as big as Fortune 500 companies. With a web of peers that big supporting you, what can’t you do?
Here are a few to get you started:
- Entrepreneurs’ Organization
- Small Giants Community
- United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship
- National Federation of Independent Businesses
- Startup Nation
Attend organizational conferences and check out the local chapters of these groups. Utilizing powerful networks is a great way to start developing peer and mentor relationships. If you prefer a more casual approach, start by searching Meetup for a group of like-minded professionals in your area — you can connect with people over a drink after work.
Keep in mind that a feeling of belonging is essential to communities. As you seek out organizations to join, make an effort to focus on groups that mirror your values and goals.