Print PagePrint PageEmail PageEmail Page


The Revolve Nation Boston Entrepreneurs Meetup is the largest community of entrepreneurs and small business owners in the city of Boston, offering networking, discussion groups, seminars, business plan hot-seats, and more. We meet every two weeks on Wednesday nights to network, socialize, learn, and promote a thriving community of entrepreneurs.

Our meeting last Wednesday was our first of 2012, with about twenty-five entrepreneurs attending. Attendees dug in to two topics in particular:

1. What are some effective Team Building tactics?

The group approached the question from two perspectives: adding people to help with day-to-day matters for the business versus leaders who work on the business.

The group seemed to agree that if additional help would be used to manage tasks that the founder doesn’t like or is not very good at (e.g., developing code, sales, bookkeeping), then subcontracting can help. There are many service providers who can do as much or as little as is needed for a new company, and it prevents the buildup of employees for purposes of complying with wage and labor laws.

If you’re on the fence about needing more help, ask yourself whether you’re working full time but find that things are falling through the cracks. If they are, you need this help.

But if you’re looking for more of a Team Member than mere day-to-day assistance, it’s time to leave the house to meet like-minded people whose company you really enjoy, and whom you can trust.

2. I have an online media presence, but how do I translate connections online and in person into meaningful contacts and customers or clients?

The group described a friendship-based process of developing acquaintances into meaningful relationships. Some members reflected on their early days as entrepreneurs when they entered rooms and saw everybody as a potential customer. Only after shifting their attitude toward one of helping others first did they begin to build productive relationships (and yes, that means referral relationships, too!).

Specifically, some of the best practices included

  • Sending thank you notes
  • Writing or calling to ask how someone is doing
  • Sending referrals and introductions first, without any expectation of a return
  • Focusing on fostering the friendship rather than a strictly professional relationship

Another excellent point was that many people network in the wrong crowds—that is, homogenous ones. You’re not likely to find good referral sources or clients at an event full of people who do exactly what you do.

If you want to hear more or throw in your two cents, join us at Meetup!

You can contact the author here, and follow @revolvethis and @gerritbetz on Twitter.