Starting and growing a business is a lonely experience. Everyone thinks you’re mad and your family want to know when you’re going to “get a proper job”.
The only people who can really relate to what you’re doing are others doing the same thing.
When I got started, something I found incredibly valuable was business forums full of like-minded folk at different stages of starting and growing businesses.
We’ve had a KashFlow forum for a while now, but it’s been relatively quiet. There’s only so much you can discuss when the only suggested topic of conversation is accounting software.
There’s a serious down-side to a quiet forum – if you’d never heard of KashFlow and you took a quick look at our forums last week you could be forgiven for thinking we have virtually no customers. That’s what an inactive forum suggests.
Over Christmas I’d been pondering what to do and even thought about closing the forums in favour of LinkedIn groups (I find the viral aspect of LinkedIn appealing).
I went back to the basic question of why we even have a forum. Customer support is dealt with by email, so it’s not needed for that. I remembered that the primary reason I wanted the forum in the first place was to build a sense of community amongst our users and would-be users.
The solution, I decided, was to kick start the forums and get some quality people involved and some quality posts.
I know Phil Williams at Openminded Solutions who runs A1 Business Forums and had a chat with him about it. I managed to convince him to sell the forum to me. This worked well for him as he’s getting increasingly busy with other projects and felt he couldn’t give the forums the time they deserved.
So, today we re-launch the KashFlow Accounting Software Forums as the KashFlow Business Forums – open to any small business that wants to to ask questions, to share experiences and advice and to network with their peers.
I’ll be doing my utmost to market the forums to a wider audience and to encourage more of the existing KashFlow customer base to get involved.
Sandra (Indizine) and Gerry (Punched) have done an outstanding job in the thankless task of moderating A1BF to date and I’m really pleased they’ve agreed to stay on under the new banner.
So if you’re a starting, running or growing a small business – go and register at the forums and get involved.