Community, Conversations, and Connections
In April of 2017, I made the decision to move GROWL’s HQ. It wasn’t a move across the city of Denver but a move across the state of Colorado – to the Western Slope. Embarking on this move away from our business safety net of known associations and connections meant we would have to think about ways to meet people and other businesses, allowing us to become part of the community and help GROWL Agency grow.
Step 1: Location, Location, Location
We found the perfect office space that was above a well-known co-working space, FACTORY.
This would be key to increasing the number of conversations we would have to meet new people and potential hires. Co-working spaces are inherently great at connecting people and businesses to each other. The Western Slope, from Fruita to Palisade, is home to five co-working spaces and growing.
Fast forward two years and our office space has increased five times, and we are on the verge of our 7th hire. Our goal was always to support our clients across the country with the best service and experience they could find. Moving to Grand Junction allowed us to that.
Step 2: Community
Many people ask us how we became so connected so quickly. We had a plan, a strategy, and a budget to network and get involved.
Here are the top items we feel helped us get integrated into the community.
Join your local chambers.
Not only join but get involved in a committee and go to events. We are active members of Palisade Chamber, Fruita Chamber, and Grand Junction Chamber.
We knew we would have to get involved and get our name out in the marketplace. This was key for us to start hiring people. Look at local sponsorship opportunities that align with your mission, values, and culture.
Create your Own Events
GROWL created its own Connex events inviting local business leaders to network while having engaging panel discussions.
We looked for opportunities to speak. Co-working spaces and local chambers are a great way to find these opportunities. Speaking allows you to connect to larger groups.
We joined a local Rotary group. These service organizations are well connected to the valley and make meaningful introductions. Look at the local government for opportunities to sit on committees or boards. Get your company involved with a local nonprofit and meet monthly to support them. For example, GROWL supports Food Bank of the Rockies every month by helping provide meals to Fruita seniors.
Go to Events
There are many types of events – galas, fundraisers, etc. that enable you to meet other business and community leaders.
GROWL Agency had a strategy to start having content and imagery that was aligned with our brand, values, and culture. Through consistency and authenticity, social media has been an excellent way for people to get to know us.
Step 3: Conversations
Say, “Yes, and…” Having spent many years on various Improv Comedy teams, this was key to success. When someone invites you to an event, say “Yes, and what can I do to help?” When someone asks you to speak, say, “Yes, and how can I make this a prominent event for you?”
Continue the “Yes, and…” with all you do, and you will see the positive payback over time. Saying “yes” is vital to starting these valuable conversations and networking.
What’s next: Connections
GROWL Agency’s culture allows for our team to follow the Three Cs, to get involved in the community and continue to grow our network and invite others to be part of the GROWL family. This allowed us to have these connections and support over the past two years of living and working on the Colorado Western Slope.
Follow us on our social media channels to keep up with all we are doing and connect with us to have a conversation. My ask of you, get involved in your community, and it will give back many times over.