What Is Community?
Updated: Oct 17, 2022
In one episode I welcomed the Founder of Fox Boxes who brings a story of a loved one. This is an impactful episode with a moving story. It is a story of remembrance that shifted to a mission to support infants, and their families, though long hospital stays.
In a way, it is a story about a community. A community that turned into a family.
But first, what is community, why is it important and why should an entrepreneur care?
Community is a group of people who live in the same area, such as a city, town, or neighborhood. But the definition of community goes even broader then that: it can be a group of people who have the same interests, religion, race, etc. or a group of nations – this world and all the inhabitants that are in it, this is our global community.
Coworkers, colleagues, friends, and neighbors are all a part of the community.
Now why is it important to build a rapport with community? Well, from my own personal experience hosting this podcast: working with the community builds trust and support.
Entrepreneurs come on this show because they trust my work and in me as a podcast host. They trust I will not lead them astray, and in turn I trust they will respect the studio, me, and my family. Additionally, the support I have received from this community is grand.
Trust is important because if a customer does not trust the brand, they will not buy the brand. It is remarkable how quickly customers can become a loyal tribe when you engage their community.
Investing in communities helps build brand awareness while providing an opportunity to share ideas on various platforms. This little community that has been helping me grow this podcast is incredible, and I could not thank them all enough!
But the community is not about me. I look at this platform as an opportunity to showcase their stories and that of others. I want the global community to learn about our Oregon community.
But why is this so important to an entrepreneur?
An enthusiastic member of a community that loves meeting new people and learning about new businesses is a great asset for any brand.
Harvard Business Review had an article titled, “When Community Becomes Your Competitive Advantage” that highlights the importance of building a superior business model through engaging community. Here are a few highlights:
Delivering a product to build a community can unlock extraordinary competitive advantages and both create and support a superior business model. Specifically:
Enthusiastic members help acquire new members, resulting in lower customer acquisition costs and a tight viral loop – a great example is my guest on this podcast. I share their brand, story, IG posts, and marketing their company simply be marketing the podcast community.
Members are loath to abandon the community, resulting in increased retention and therefore improved lifetime value – loath means reluctant or unwilling, meaning once members are a part of the community, many never want to leave their community which creates sustainability for economic growth in the community.
Members support one another, resulting in high gross margins due to a lower cost of service – again, take this podcast as an example. This is no cost to the community, but I truly hope it provides immense value to the listener and the entrepreneur.
Now why care?
Because small businesses in communities help set the culture. Not only small businesses but non-profits as well – they help build our identity.
Even giving helps feed the soul. Research has shown volunteer work and kindness can lower symptoms of depression and make us “high” on dopamine and endorphins.
Listen we have all been through a lot these past couple of years.
It is difficult to find the highs with what feels like are so many lows, but this guest exemplifies how hope can be found even when the light feels its darkest.