Many of our readers know we support a group for military veteran business owners and executives called “Friends in Commerce”. This group is an excellent way for these veterans to leverage each others networks to either advance their careers or grow their business so this post is about
Friends in Commerce – Growth, Expansion, and The Way Ahead
Why is this important to our group members? Because, where we are going will provide them a tremendous opportunity to grow and leverage their network, improve their business/careers, and provide opportunities for you to help other veteran owners/executives.
Friends in Commerce has now grown to almost 1500 members with each member participating in varying degrees. Unfortunately, during this period of growth, LinkedIn has made it exceedingly difficult to maximize a groups potential by essentially limiting member participation to only posting, reading, and commenting on group posts.
So, to achieve our initial purpose of assisting veteran executives and business owners in leveraging each other’s personal and professional networks, we are making some adjustments.
Our Vision is to grow Friends in Commerce beyond being just a LinkedIn group and truly become a “Network of Networks” that can foster a community where veterans help veterans. To do so, we are in the early stages of building a leadership team and plan that will meet our original purpose of assisting veteran business owners and executives.
Going forward, you can expect to see the formation of:
· Service Groups.
· Industry Groups (ie. Government contracting, small business, cybersecurity, and many more..)
· Geographic Groups (ie. NYC, DC Metro, and wherever else we have the leadership and veteran community in place).
· Business owner and executive mentorship programs.
· Veteran transition support.
· A website with a member database that will include a members profile.
o The database will make it easy for group members to search for other members who specialize in their area of need. We will essentially be building our own consortium that will include service offerings across all industries so members can utilize each other’s services.
o We will also identify Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDB) such as SDVOSB, HUBZone, WOB, and others, that will facilitate teaming in pursuit of government contracts.
Friends in Commerce will continue to be free but we will need members who are interested in taking the lead in multiple areas. Doing so, will provide those members the opportunity to be at the front end with the emergence of new networks, in addition to being nicely positioned to leverage existing networks.
Please reach out to me directly by LinkedIn message or email if you want to be part of this growth.