Back in 2016, I went looking for Cochrane’s Coworking space, guess what…there wasn’t one. Here is a tale of the importance of community & connections in business, how it got The Corner started and how it plays a part in the success of our members as well as local companies too.
Before we had our own space, we still had community; it doesn’t take a defined ‘home base’ or a physical location. The Cochrane Coworking Community met weekly at various cafés around town, building connections, learning about each other and how we could support each other. Many of us were in very different industries, although a lot of the challenges we faced were identical or at least similar enough that we could align and share tips. We built our professional networks and made a point of connecting those in similar or complementary industries. Sometimes these connections bloomed, I watched as one of our members started a big contract with another member of the community after just launching her business. Our community made that happen.
Many of the connections we formed played a part in the launch of The Corner Coworking, whether it was recommendations for trades and professionals or signing up as founding members of our formal coworking community when we opened in February 2018, two years ago!
WWIFM, I work in a very different industry from others.
I’ve found that I’ve naturally been drawn to playing a part in our business community, as I talked more about what I was planning for #coworking in Cochrane I connected with business owners and entrepreneurs from a wide variety of professions. I wondered what I could provide to them, what do I know about architecture, engineering, marketing??? As The Corner has grown, I have realized that we have so much more to offer than just a desk/Wi-Fi/great coffee. I watch our members supporting each other daily with tips and tricks on handling late payers. I sit down with both prospective & existing members on almost a weekly basis and share insight from what I’ve learnt (and the mistakes I’ve made) over the past few years in small business in Cochrane. This experience has been amazing, as I get to meet with some fantastic business owners and local entrepreneurs, and then share what awesome things they’re doing with our community and our network.
Word of mouth has become so important in small business marketing or is that promotion, just look at the many ‘Recommendations’ pages on Facebook for your community. Wouldn’t you prefer to get a referral from a coworker, instead of an unknown Facebook user? Here is one of the key reasons we host the Cochrane Business Network events here, as well as being strong supporters of the Cochrane Chamber of Commerce…they both build our networks, they both support the growth of our local businesses. These events also broaden our knowledge and increase our business skills.
What can you do? How do you get involved?
Every one of us brings something different to our community, you may not know it yet, but you can help our business community grow and thrive. What can you share with our community? Who do you know that should be connected with others in our community? What skills do you have that others could benefit from? Come and spend a day with us here at The Corner, attend an event, join us for a potluck…I assure you that you’ll leave smarter and more connected.
Founder, community builder & coworking catalyst