It is easy to develop a sense of isolation in small business, but the reality is there is an army of people just like you striving to enliven their passions through their business. Small businesses represent a massive 97% of all registered Australian businesses. Our nation is built on the thousands of diverse operations that keep our communities chugging along around the clock. Small businesses account for 33% of Australia’s GDP, employ over 40% of Australia’s workforce, and pay around 12% of total company tax revenue. In 2015 small businesses created 40% of all new jobs for our Lucky Country. Small business is a vital part of the Australian economy.
Taking a closer look at the statistics reveals some surprising insights. While the vast majority of Australian businesses are small, sole trader operations makeup 61% of all small businesses, and an additional 27% of small businesses have less than five employees. These micro businesses and small operations are everywhere, functioning across countless industries and operating from creative and resourceful outlets.
Finding this army of small business soldiers is easier said than done, with so many working from their kitchen tables, garages, or small workspaces that are affordable but private. For the sole trader, keeping expenses low and profits high is a balancing act that takes priority over all other business aims. While this is completely understandable, and essential, this important effort to manage expenses can have detrimental effects on the business owner. As human beings, we have a core need of social contact and relationships to maintain personal balance. We all need people in our circle to discuss concerns, brainstorm questions, vent frustrations, and celebrate wins. Having a second opinion is always smart idea, as is seeking the advice from a trusted mentor to brainstorm the things in life that puzzle us. This is true for people in service and retail, men and women, young and old, introverts and extroverts. As people, we need other people.
If you are reading this and have the feeling this article has been written just for you, then let’s get busy making a shift here for the better. Here are three ways you can come out from behind the veil of your business and get some social sunshine on your beautiful face:
Get Active On Social Media
If time and money are pressing, the fastest shortcut to increased social interaction is right here in LinkedIn and Facebook. Building up your connections through these networks will create and engage a team of people happy to flick through their newsfeed and respond to the exchanges you initiate. Asking questions, sharing stories, posting high value tips and advice will do the trick for ramping up your social contact just perfectly, without you even leaving your desk. It will also do wonders for your business. Get your contacts raving about your business and build up your reputation for the online world to see.
Get Out Networking
You could never convince me you have no way of making new connections in your local community. There are endless ways to find social events that are happening in your town every single day. You can ask Google about events in your city, sift through Meetup.com for groups that suit your interests, check out your local council website, or go old school and read up local events in the newspaper. If you are like me and you are mad about business, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how many people are just like us. Business events are a dime a dozen, and when you have found a few good ones, you’ll be expanding your influence and making friends all at once.
Reconnect With Your Loved Ones
When was the last time you had a quality conversation with your friends, parents, kids, cousins, or dare I say it, your partner? Studies show that small business owners spend long hours either at work or thinking about work, which spills over into the relationships we share with our loved ones. Investing in the development of a strong foundation rewards us with benefits in our physical and mental health, giving us the refreshment and support we need to sustain lasting gains in our business. Scheduling time for the people who mean the most to us is a sure fire way to replace feelings of isolation, stress and overwhelm with connection, peace and confidence. These are essential for success not only in business, but in life.