Strength comes in numbers, we all know that. So, why is it that some businesses try to go it alone, shunning – deliberately or inadvertently – the help that might be available to them? We’ve said it before but it can’t be overstated, community is so important to success – a great business model or idea can’t carry you alone.

Founder and CEO of online education platform CreativeLive, Chase Jarvis, believes that “50% of success comes from your community”.

In a blog for Virgin’s entrepreneur website, he writes: “From building authentic relationships with other humans who are passionate about the same things you’re passionate about such that when you put your work out there, it’s not just you – it’s you plus an army of evangelists and advocates, a massively powerful force multiplier for everything you do.”

He attests that all successful companies have community “in their DNA”. So, how exactly can you build a community around your business? Jarvis offers up some tips:

1. Collaborate

Collaboration is often borne out of reciprocity, i.e. the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit. At the end of the day, you can’t expect people to do something for you for nothing. You see this kind of trade-off all the time on social media, whereby two businesses with similar audiences will share each other’s content, exposing new people to their brands.

2. Get out and meet people

When you’re busy trying to build a business, it’s easy to get wrapped up in tasks at the office. However, often the best way to get a bit of traction is to get out and meet people, specifically at events (conferences, trade groups etc.) which are organised with businesses like yours in mind. With all the digital channels that are now available, you might think that you can do all your relationship building behind a computer. But, there’s still nothing as effective as shaking someone’s hand.

3. Volunteer

Volunteering at an industry event, for example, is a great way to get yourself noticed by both attendees and organisers alike. The organisers, especially, are usually very well-connected, as too will be the VIP and guest speakers you will come into contact with – powerful people you might not have a chance to engage with as a mere attendee.

4. Do your bit online

Make no mistake, the digital world is abound with opportunity to expand your network, at no cost other than a few minutes of your time. The trick is to be tuned in to interesting conversation from your peers, then making some sort of contribution to the discussion. If your comments are insightful, other people in the conversation are naturally going to want to find out more and who’s behind them.

In the UK, we’re not always so good at building communities as they are in the United States. However, the opportunity to do so is there – it just takes hard graft and persistence.