Being an entrepreneur is no small feat. Diving into the unknown, embracing the hustle, and carving out a niche in the world of business! It can be quite an unappreciated and disconnected journey; not many will be able to relate to exactly what you’re going through.
But, does it really need to be that way….
There are a lot of founders out there, just like you, hustling on their own path. Instead of trudging on seemingly solitary roads why not cross paths to learn, lean, and laugh? 🙂
Here are 6 Fantastic Ways You Can Support Fellow Startup Founders Right Now:
Create a Networking Circle
Let’s start with the obvious: meeting with your peers, even just once in a few months, can be an invaluable outlet to share or discuss entrepreneurial challenges, and an amazing inlet to collect perspective and feedback. It can be structured like a networking event or just a chat off the clock. If you’re an introvert and networking triggers anxiety, check out our Tips on Effective Networking here.
If you prefer, a non-structured or more organic setup without any pretence, then try meeting up for an after-work activity, or a more intimate coffee to simply talk and share.
No matter the format, the important thing here is to know that you are not alone in this roller-coaster journey of entrepreneurship.
An easy way to get this going could be to discover local Facebook groups for entrepreneurs and suggest the concept of meeting up, walk around your co-working space and introduce yourself, or reach out to entrepreneurs in your alumni networks if you like the element of familiarity. Let’s not forget the added bonus of this activity – you could gain great friends along the way!
2. Get on Board:
Another pretty clear-cut way to support other startups is to of course use their products or services! Read about a SaaS product startup- take on a demo, give it a shot! Meet a 3D printing supplier – make them your vendor! Try an energy bar at a pop-up – feature them in your office kitchen! Know a cafe owner – take your meetings there! There’s nothing better you can do for another startup than become a customer yourself.
Canada is brimming with innovative startups across every single realm of business. Chart out your subscriptions, integrations, vendors, and where you can plug into a local startup.
3. Form Strategic Partnerships:
Not all startups are competitors! In fact, more often than not, they are potential collaborators. If another startup has a similar audience to your product or service, it’s time to get those creative juices flowing. How can you strategically collaborate to expand reach or leverage brand value?
Remember when Premium Spotify accounts could integrate their Uber app and stream their favourite songs in the cab! Or how GoPro and RedBull teamed up to amplify their daredevil brand and create insane content of extreme adventure sports!
Or how about pooling resources? Can you imagine being able to join forces with a fellow startup on tech or manpower to share the load? Opportunities are all around you, once you start looking for them!
4. Enrich Advisory Boards:
Hey, one startup founder can’t possibly know everything! There’s no shame in that. That’s why we’ve got advisory boards. Subject matter experts are always an extremely handy ace under the sleeve.
If you’ve got fellow startup founders from other fields that could help you, let’s say, tech, legal, sales, or design, hold out your hand and bring them aboard. With more diversity in perspectives, richer industry experience and insight, they could elevate the quality of your decision-making for your business.
You can also be open to the opposite scenario, if you believe you’re a subject matter expert, put your intention out to serve as an advisory board member and witness your personal brand soar!
5. Show them some love-out-loud:
If you do like a product or service, leave them a review, tag them on Instagram, feature them in your newsletter, or refer new customers and clients their way. The key here is to be as authentic as possible so your word can convert to real sales for fellow entrepreneurs!
6. Help others together:
Beyond helping each other out, there’s actually a LOT you can still do together. How about teaming up for local community or charity events, pitching in your expertise, and sponsoring or offering discounted services. Organize a tech fair, a career workshop, or even a local clean-up day. It’s about bringing your crews together and making a real, positive mark in your neighbourhood.
Activities like this can create a ripple effect that doesn’t just pump up growth and goodwill for all the involved startups but also cooks up a strong, supportive backdrop where businesses and communities thrive together.
By embracing the strategies above, we hope your journey is vibrantly dotted with allies, mentors, and friends. So why not take the step today? Reach out, connect, and boost the entire ecosystem around you! Cheers to growing together!
Want to Launch or Expand Your Business in Canada?
We are BHive, a startup incubator located in Brampton, Ontario. We offer international startups the tools, resources, and space to establish – and quickly scale – their businesses in Canada and North America. To apply to our Global Entrepreneur Incubation Program, click here!