One of the biggest challenges that many entrepreneurs face is loneliness and lack of community. While this affliction is common, there are many ways to build and fortify your network. If you want to have a thriving and active network of like-minded, passionate business owners, here are a few essential tips.

Maintain Current Connections

If you want to build a vibrant entrepreneurial network, you must invest in existing connections. Whether you periodically connect over social media, meet up in person, or establish regular meeting times with old colleagues or school friends, make sure that you invest in the relationships you have already built.

Find Professional Networks

There is a wide range of networks available to business owners. Tapping into those resources can be an easy way to find new connections. With opportunities ranging from local to global and spanning from online interactions to in-person conferences, there is a range of opportunities to enhance your engagement with other entrepreneurs.

Reach Out to the Small Business Community

Within your local area, you may be surprised to learn that potential connections are abundant. The small business community in your area can be a great resource to tap into. With volunteer opportunities and events, there are plenty of ways that you can meet others.

Connect Over Social Media

In this digital day and age, doors are wide open for entrepreneurial-focused professionals. Whether you fire up your LinkedIn profile with posts and reactions, find like-minded groups on Facebook or engage with others on Twitter, there are plenty of ways to expand your network using social media.

Take the Initiative and Actively Seek Opportunities

While you can sit back and engage with existing networks, taking the initiative has a significant payoff. Whether you speak on podcasts or panels, organize events for small business owners or write articles for online publications, you can proactively place yourself in the community. By getting your name out there and taking the initiative to build your network, you can significantly expand your reach while sharing your expertise and experience with others.

Volunteer Your Time

You never know who, when or where you’ll make an important connection. Volunteering your time is a valuable and proactive step with surprising results. Not only can you invest in the future of other entrepreneurs, but you can also give back and fortify future connections that may help you down the line.

As an entrepreneur, it can be all too easy to feel isolated. While you may be the lone person at the top, there are plenty of ways to engage with a community. Use these tips to build and fortify your network, and you’ll never worry about feeling alone again.