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Why small business owners should celebrate the International Day of Friendship

The International Day of Friendship is this Saturday. It’s a day to reflect on the importance of peer support and social connections in your personal life and your small business.

Connecting with others is vital to our mental health and wellbeing. It can even act as a protective factor against stress and mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. You should therefore take the time to have meaningful conversations, share experiences and simply have fun with others.

As a small business owner, it can be difficult to make time to connect with others. Social outings are often cancelled when we become stressed and overwhelmed. Long hours and weekend work also make it difficult to find time that aligns with others’ schedules. Isolation and lack of peer support can be an issue for many sole traders who have no employees or frequently work alone. For these reasons, small business owners must make a conscious effort to engage in social activities.

This International Day of Friendship think about what you could be doing more of to connect with others. Here are some ideas to help get you started:

  • Connect with other small business owners who can share their experiences, and offer support and advice. You can do this by joining your local business chambers, local networking group or through online forums on Ahead for Business or Flying Solo.
  • Meet new people by joining a local group, like a sports team, volunteering group, dance class or book club.
  • Block social time in your schedule to ensure you make time for something each week. You could block out time for dinner or a long lunch with a friend.
  • Make the most of your social interactions in your work-day. Take the time to have a chat with your clients, customers and suppliers. This can provide a nice mood boost and keep you productive throughout the day.

Ahead for Business has many resources to help you improve your social connections. Start by taking a look at:

Social connection

Feel more socially connected: easy steps to initiate positive social connections.

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