If you’re an entrepreneur, the success of your own start-ups isn’t the only thing you need to worry about. The community around your company is also essential for your company’s continued success. In fact, exploring and helping to build the start-up ecosystem around you can have all kinds of benefits for your own projects.
Advantages of Helping to Build a Strong Local Start-up Ecosystem
It’s Good for the Economy
Entrepreneurs are a powerful way to stimulate the local economy now and can help to grow a strong economy down the road as well. In fact, small businesses may actually generate more jobs than bigger ones. Encouraging local start-ups around you will boost employment rates, which will also boost the economy overall. This is a great thing for a start-up in your area.
Furthermore, as companies around you grow and thrive, the economy down the road will grow as well, which gives your start-up an economy to get bigger and stronger in.
Helping other entrepreneurs with their start-ups is a great way to build connections with businesses around you and generate mutually beneficial relationships. Too often, companies are focused on competition between one another and miss opportunities to increase income, reduce the price of essential goods and services, etc.
Mutually beneficial relationships with other entrepreneurs and start-ups can strengthen the overall local start-up economy and put you in a position to profit your own business repeatedly. The relationships that you form as you work to support other companies around you will also give you support when you are struggling.
These businesses might help to direct customers to you when you need it most, reduce costs in a way that could save your business, or enable you to grow faster than would otherwise be possible.
How to Map Out the Local Start-Up Ecosystem Around You
Before you start getting involved in your local start-up ecosystem, you will need to develop an understanding of what is going on around you. It will take some research to learn which start-ups are forming and which are worthy of your attention.
After all, by definition, these very small businesses haven’t been in existence for very long, and they may not have made it into traditional ways of finding them like the first page of Google search results. Take your time and try a number of different ways to research, both digital and not, to find what local start-ups are around you.
How to Get involved
Once you have identified start-ups that interest you in your area, there are a few things that you can do to form a relationship and build a strong start-up ecosystem.
Offer Help to your Competition
It is extremely unintuitive for you to offer any kind of help to a business that may compete with you, but this is one of the best ways to build trust and establish a relationship right from the beginning.
Offering your help will also encourage other businesses to offer their own ideas. Working together in this way will make it much more likely that you will end up coming up with a successful solution.
Network with Related Businesses
Any business that has a connection to your own can help to strengthen your customer base. It may cost much less than you think to occasionally send customers to businesses in a related industry that can serve their needs better in exchange for that business doing the same for you. Learn who you can network with to help build a strong local start-up ecosystem to depend on.
Present Opportunities for New Start-Ups
Do you see a gap in the market that you’d like to see filled? Find a great young company that is trying to fill that niche and invest. You don’t have to generate an income solely from your own companies and start-ups to be a successful entrepreneur. Learning how to identify other start-ups that have something special will make you a very wealthy investor and also strengthen the start-up ecosystem around you.
Advertise Small and Local
Emphasizing that your companies are small and local and that you also support other small, local companies will help to build a local culture that supports a start-up ecosystem. Buying small has been a trend throughout the nation, but your area can be further influenced to purchase from small businesses if you make it clear which businesses are there and what they have to offer. Encouraging general purchasing from small businesses also generates business for your company.
Get Started Exploring Your Local Start-up Ecosystem
You may be surprised by how fascinated you quickly become with your own local start-up ecosystem. Finding companies on the ground level before they have made it to success can be very exciting. Investing in such companies can be extremely lucrative, and their success may also buffer your own company’s success.