Community is a driving force. It permeates our entire lives and becomes an important part of how we live and interact. On a personal level we know the importance in finding community. In fact, of the many studies conducted, they prove the importance in finding and developing community. While this is important on a personal level it becomes vital on the business level. Each organization and approach is a bit different. A lot of it will hinge on the product, or lifestyle being promoted, while others will develop it from a different perspective or angle. How do we build community from nothing?
Everyone may look at or approach the notion of community differently. That’s why it’s important as a business to understand what you’re ultimately trying to do. Once you define your purpose it’s easier to figure that out. Don’t forget that your customers may be giving you feedback and will likely help steer you through this process.
When I started my floorball programs I started at square one. No one had heard about floorball before and I wasn’t really sure what the overall response would be. At that time I hadn’t started Floorball Guru yet so I was really starting with nothing. It took a lot of work and consistent effort in order to get it off the ground. It didn’t stop there. It took a lot of time building relationships with the kids and parents. Sharing my vision of what the sport is and where I saw it in the long term. Over the course of three years I built a consistent program that parents could rely on. I went out into the community and made a presence at fairs and festivals.
It didn’t stop there. I’ve been able to expand to the point where parents have become converts. They’re my biggest supporters and my biggest sellers. While I spend a lot of time building a social media presence and community built around the programs it’s the interactions from the parents that makes the biggest impact. The ultimate goal for me is when parents and kids are out telling their friends how much fun they’re having. In the conversations I have with parents, they express how much their child has evolved due to their participation in the program.
This is part of the goal. It’s something I’m constantly working on. I want to show people what’s being done, how it’s impacting them and those around them, and encouraged them to get more involved. As I’ve stepping into selling my own branded floorball equipment this process has become even more important. The classes are the driving force, which drives involvement in the leagues, which drives the ultimate investment in equipment, and ultimately solidifies them as floorball people. At that point they’re bought in. At that point the community grows stronger.
Whether you’re starting from square one like me, or you have an established program. Make sure you’re building a community that will help support what you’re doing. In the end without that support you won’t have much.