Saturday Sidecar: Where to Find Entrepreneurial Support

Written by Gina Blitstein on November 10, 2012. Posted in Saturday Sidecar

As a Sidecar driver, running your business is a solo operation. We’re an independent lot so that’s not usually a problem. But what about the times when we and our Sidecar could use a little support, whether it be financial advice, mentoring, training or emotional shoring-up? Rest assured, those types of support do exist for us solo entrepreneurs so we aren’t left twisting in the wind when we just can’t go it alone.

Especially if your Sidecar is your first foray into the entrepreneurial realm, you can learn a lot of others who have been there before you. And don’t underestimate the inspiration and emotional support you can give and receive from other Sidecar drivers who are no farther along their entrepreneurial road than you. Just knowing you’re not in it alone is sometimes the most empowering message of all.

There’s a lot of places you can find entrepreneurial support ranging from formal to more casual in nature, which include:

SCORE - This is a nonprofit association supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration. They have provided no- or low-cost services and resources to help small businesses start up and prosper for nearly half a century. SCORE is staffed by volunteers who are or were professionals themselves and provide education and support to entrepreneurs to foster their fledgling business’ growth. The organization provides mentorship, business counseling, business tools and workshops both online and at their 364 physical locations across the nation.

Local Business Breakfasts/Luncheons/Networking Events/Meetups – These represent fantastic opportunities, not only to drum up awareness of and business for your Sidecar, but to meet other entrepreneurs. Use these get-togethers to chat about your business challenges and solutions you’ve discovered with others in business for themselves. Pick their brains about where to find what your business needs, from business cards to insurance. Sharing the knowledge you’ve gained and the answers you seek is a sure way to avoid isolation and get support for yourself and your Sidecar.

Linkedin/Facebook Groups – Help is likewise available online to the entrepreneur in need of a support network. Join a group that pertains to your field specifically or to entrepreneurs in general. It’s a great way to meet other Sidecar drivers and gather information on such topics as, how much to charge for your product or service; how to deal with customer service issues; and where to find the professional services (legal, accounting, marketing…) that your Sidecar needs. By “crowdsourcing” your information, you’ll receive a number of points of view and a variety of solutions to reference when making decisions for your Sidecar.

Twitter Chats – These scheduled online “meetups” are terrific ways to have a discussion with dozens of other Sidecar drivers. Twitter chats often focus on issues of interest to Sidecar drivers and connect you with a network of others who share your experiences in entrepreneurship. They combine the informational and the social, making for a well-rounded and beneficial encounter.

These are just a few of the places you can connect with other entrepreneurs to share and gain knowledge about running your Sidecar. While we may enjoy being a one-person show, we can’t always do it alone. Sometimes we need the support, advice and assistance of those with the skills and experience we – as yet – lack. At the very least, a support network helps us avoid feeling isolated in our Sidecar endeavors, which can make us feel overwhelmed and less-than-capable. The support we need is out there – we just need to find it and take full advantage of it.

Sidecar Tuneup Tip: Even though Sidecar drivers generally work alone, we can’t always do it without a little help from those who’ve traveled these roads before. We must sometimes look to support networks to provide the information and assistance we need to keep moving ahead and growing our business. There are many types of help and many places to find it – so don’t hold yourself back by being shy or stubborn. Find the support you need to succeed!

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