Running a small business can be a lonesome job.  Getting together with other business owners in your area is a good way to help you stay connected.  Have you heard of  The website is a hub for people who like to get together old-school, meaning in person.  Some groups are purely social; but many are business or interest related.  I did a quick search for Meetup groups in my area and found more than a hundred.  At the top of the list is Small Biz Breakfast-eaters, a group of business owners who get together once a month for – what else? – breakfast!  The point is to get similar people together in a relaxed environment to share ideas, challenges, and solutions.

Why join a meetup group?

Because you don’t want to run your business inside a vacuum.  Who better to talk to about the challenges and joys of running a small business than others in the same situation?  Perhaps you’re thinking about running a newspaper ad; talk to others and see if anyone’s had success with a newspaper campaign.  You’ll meet people that you can bounce ideas off of and people you can learn from.  Being part of a community is essential to maintaining a healthy perspective on your business and your life.

How do I find a group? is one place.  You can also find groups through Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and Twitter.  The PDCA and other trade organizations have local chapters and regular get-togethers.

I can’t find a group I’m interested in.

No problem.  Start your own!

Getting together with other business owners can help you make your business stronger.  It gives you an opportunity to talk about challenges and decisions you have to make.  Plus talking to people is usually more productive than talking to your dog.