Small Business Support Squad - Facebook Group
Updated: Apr 7
The inspiration for the group
Having spent a considerable amount of time in various business groups on Facebook I have realised the following about the vast majority of them.
Run by dictators and hypocrites - several of the groups I've been a member of are run by admin that enforce rules on their members whilst they themselves are exempt from the very same rules they impose on others. I'm not a fan of hypocrites or creating a community just so you can push your own products or services under the guise of trying to help others. Commonly, members of these groups will be banned from marketing their own products or services, whilst the admin of the groups make several posts about their products every day.
A free for all - other groups appear to have no active admin whatsoever and as a consequence, the group posts are primarily spam. People advertising MLM schemes, or get rich from home schemes or bitcoin scams etc. It's very difficult to find actual useful information or support from these groups.
Clicky - other groups are run by a team of admin who are very clicky and should you disagree with something they post, they will attack on force as a pack. I've seen some rather horrible behaviour in these sorts of groups where someone will state an opinion and very quickly be bombarded by numerous people in the click to make them feel totally bullied. These people, who dare to go against the grain are subsequently soon removed from the groups.
Outdated advice - other groups are run by admin who are several years behind the curve with regards to advice, whether that be business advice, website advice, marketing advice, social media advice etc.
The idea behind the Small Business Support Squad group
The idea I have for the group is to create a resource for small business owners and freelancers. For small business owners, by small business owners.
To provide a group where no question is regarded 'stupid' and first time or experienced business owners are welcomed.
I understand all too well the struggles that a small business owner can face when starting up their first business and the driving force behind the group is one of 'pay it forward'.
I have had an interest or worked in IT for some 40 years now. Many of those were working as a business analyst helping large corporates put in place solutions to meet a goal or rid a particular pain point. I have decades of experience using social media both privately and as a business owner or for clients I've worked with through my IT career.
Why wouldn't I want to use this experience to help other small business owners not make the same mistakes I made, or other business owners have made?
Therefore this groups main aim is to create a community of people, whether they are experienced in a certain aspect, or are totally new to running a business where the common state of mind is, "helping where I can."
Because helping is good for your Karma!
What the group is not
I do not expect any professional to provide training or information that they would usually charge for in their business for free in the group. Unless of course, they wish to.
The group isn't about forfeiting your ability to earn a living. And there will be weekly opportunities for members to advertise or promote their services/products.
It is not a place for you to enforce your personal opinions on politics, religion etc.
Whilst opinions are great in some instances, for example, if someone asks, "What's the best scheduler to use for X", like buttholes, everyone has an opinion. What is important to remember is that you are entitled to your opinion, but you are not entitled to make up your own facts to support it. So when someone asks, for example, what is the best website builder, I am not going to tolerate responses like, "Squarespace and Wix are shite because they aren't very good for SEO." This is not a fact. This is your opinion. You WILL be challenged in the group if you provide advice that is based on your opinion and not supported by the facts. It is our duty as a community to be independent and give good all-around support that isn't based on our preference or skillset.
This is not a group for 'work from home', MLM type posts. If you advertise on the appropriate days, it must be about the products or services your company provide. The group is aimed at business owners, whether at the very start of their journey or well established for decades. This is not a job board to recruit into your work from home businesses.
This is not a group in which to discuss politics, religion or any prejudices. There are more than enough groups already on Facebook if getting into discussions on these topics blows your hair back. Exceptions are only where the topic directly affects small businesses and is more than simply your opinion on a topic. For example, sharing a change in the law is acceptable. Your view on Brexit is not.
Now some of you may be screaming, "It sounds like a dictatorship to me! What about my freedom of speech?" You absolutely have the freedom of speech, but just not about politics, religion or prejudices in this particular group. As mentioned, there are many of these sorts of groups on Facebook if that's your thing.
The purpose of the group rules are to create a community of inclusion.
Plans for the group
I'm hoping, with your support to create not only a community of like-minded people eager and willing to help others without any expectation but a great resource for small business owners. With this in mind, I will be looking to:
- Create modules of helpful videos. These videos will cover things like business tips, business advice, how-to videos etc. Hopefully, members in the group, who are experts in their field will look to add videos they have created to these modules.
- Regular group Lives. Again, with the support of the members, I hope to start regular, at least once a week, Lives in the group. These could cover a specific topic, or simply a Q&A session with someone in the group.
- Podcast style Lives. With an admin and one other member within the group in a podcast syle live with your questions being put to the guest.
- Discounts and special offers. Any member of the group willing to provide discounts for group members will be able to advertise on a special announcement post in the group.
- To run the group in the most democratic way possible, whilst of course enforcing what I believe are fair group rules. I, or the admins, will not run the group as a dictatorship. We will abide by the rules we expect our members to abide by.
- Online networking. Once the group begins to grow, I will look to arrange online network sessions on Zoom where any member of the group can attend and have the opportunity to pitch their service/product and meet other members of the group.
Who will benefit from the group?
Any freelancer or small business owner that would like to meet other business owners of a similar mindset. Whether you are just starting out or are an expert in your field!
Those just starting out should get loads of useful support from the group ensuring they can streamline their startup activities as much as possible and not make the mistakes many of us business owners have made during the course of our businesses.
Experienced business owners and freelancers have the opportunity to share their knowledge, promote their business services or products, and even become a Group Expert in a certain area.
Maybe you're not specifically looking for any help or advice, but you're finding that being a freelancer or sole trader can be a rather lonely existence. Off-topic, conversation starter type posts are always welcomed and encouraged. Sometimes the support we needed isn't about our business, but our mental health.
Speaking of mental health, this is very close to my heart subject so anyone that works for a charity or has a project to support charities are always welcomed and I will do my best to support these people in any means that I can. Especially those centred around mental health, homelessness and children support charities.
How do I join?
Simply click below and answer the group questions and await approval. Please do read the group rules before submitting your request to join 😊
See you there!
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