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Best Places to Find Support and Accountability as a Small-Business Owner

Entrepreneurship can be a lonely road—but it doesn’t have to be.

There are millions of other business owners out there, people looking for support and accountability just like you. After all, you can talk shop and pour out your business woes to your mom or best friend. But if they're not entrepreneurs, too, there's only so much they can understand of what you're going through.

Some business owners may feel like they don’t need that kind of support. But the statistics speak for themselves.

The simple act of committing to someone gives you a 65% chance of completing your goal, according to a study by the American Society of Training and Development. That same study showed that your chances increase to 95% when you set up a regular accountability appointment with that person.

In other words, the more serious you are about accountability, the more likely you are to meet your goals and grow your business.

So where can you find this kind of peer support and mentorship? We’ve found several places you might want to try:

Your Local Chamber of Commerce

The first place to look for networking and accountability opportunities is your local chamber of commerce. Finding the one closest to you is simple. Type “chamber of commerce” into Google along with your city or, if that group is too small for you, your county or region.

Keep in mind that, the narrower your search, the more likely you are to connect with small business owners in your immediate area.

If you serve other small businesses, you can form some lucrative connections here. But even more than that, you can find support and camaraderie from other local entrepreneurs. And the best part is that they’re local, so they understand the community you’re serving.

Local Mentorship Programs

Some business mentorship organizations, like SCORE, are big enough that they’re likely to have mentors near you—at least if you live in a big enough city. Or you can sign up for a virtual mentor with the expertise you need. These programs also tend to offer informative webinars to help you with small-business tips and strategies.

But if you’re looking for something closer to home, then scouring your city for a local mentorship program is worth it.

Indelible Ink recently promoted a campaign to raise money for two such programs in their local community in Portland. These programs don’t just provide grants but also mentorship and networking opportunities to help small-business owners get started strong.

Accountability Groups for Entrepreneurs

The best kinds of accountability groups are ones that cater to the specific kind of business you’re in. We all need support, but the kind of support a restaurant owner needs is different than a freelance consultant might need.

One of the best places to start to find a specific group is social media, especially Facebook. Try searching for your title in the Groups tab on Facebook. For example, if you own a restaurant, you might type “Restaurant Owners” and find a forum or group of people in your line of work.

Often, when you join those groups, you can reach out and find a specific accountability partner or two. Your group can meet regularly via Zoom to share what’s going on in your business, get feedback, and keep one another accountable on your goals.

Hire a Business Coach

If what you need is more expertise and insight rather than camaraderie, then hiring a business coach might be the route for you.

With a coach come several advantages. For starters, your coach will know more and have more experience than you, so you’ll be able to ask the specific questions you need to.

Coaches can also typically look past your specific question to see the larger issue at hand. They may point out problems you need to handle that you can’t even see yet. That’s why they’re coaches!

Although hiring a coach can easily become expensive, putting money toward your personal and professional growth will help you take it even more seriously. So we highly recommend hiring a coach if you can afford it.

What kind of accountability do you have as a business owner? Tell us your experience in the comments below!

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