The Wisdom Of A Peer Group
In 2015 I met many business owners that were looking for a cost effective marketing solution. In 2016 I’ll deliver it to a select handful of them. Learn how you can participate.
Why a Peer Group?
The image of the entrepreneur as lone wolf who succeeds against all odds and a legion of naysayers has become popular in American culture. Entrepreneurs are one-of-a-kind operators who thrive because they encounter a problem and set out to solve it in a unique way. Initially they rely on themselves for ideas and execution. If successful, they develop a team to scale their operation. But running a small business is hard work. Some owners handle everything – from production to marketing to sending out the bills. Some are so busy they don’t have time to socialize with anyone but the dog.
For many business owners, focusing on business becomes so all-consuming it’s easy to overlook other people and potential resources. But if you take a moment to look around there are resources available to assist you — especially in the form of other business owners.
When business owners share ideas with each other, often it’s exactly the thought, energy, or spark of creativity they need. When business owners meet with others who have the same passion, concerns and fears about their business they realize they are not alone. A peer-to-peer network provides a way of looking at your own issues with a new perspective.
Accountability and Peer Groups
That’s just one way peer groups are good for you and your business. Here’s another: A group helps keep you accountable. When you are an employee, there’s usually a boss or manager whose job it is to make sure you do what’s needed to meet your goals and deadlines. When you’re the boss of yourself and others, schedules and the structure of your own workday can easily dissolve. A peer group forces you to maintain some form of accountability –like showing up at regularly scheduled meetings and reporting on your recent activities.
Peer groups provide a supportive environment and an opportunity to state publicly what you intend to accomplish before the next meeting. Members feel obligated to maintain this as a priority between meetings, knowing they’re expected to report on their progress.
Members hold each other accountable — because they demand the same of themselves. And, while not all goals are achieved before the next meeting, being able to discuss your progress, or what’s preventing its realization, is exceedingly valuable. Members stay engaged because they value the input and understanding that other entrepreneurs provide. The result is a fostering group, which offers a safe place to discuss ideas and hone the ones that just might work. Frequently, over time, additional benefits occur in the form of new business relationships and friendships with group members.
The power of commitment
Setting goals is easy. Committing to them is altogether a different story. There is a natural fear associated with committing to goals. What if you don’t achieve them? When you commit to a goal publicly, you become accountable to yourself and to others. Stating goals aloud, no matter how large or small, is the equivalent of drawing a line in the sand. Committing to a goal in front of others has the added bonus of keeping you focused and helps define what you are and are NOT going to spend time on.
In a peer group setting, it doesn’t matter if you succeed at achieving your goal or not. Having the support of a group of like-minded peers will help you see it through, help determine what you can do better to ensure its success, or possibly redefine it.
What’s the ideal size?
In our experience, groups of seven to 10 non-competing business owners is best. A ‘‘peer advisory board’’ of this size is ideal for providing business owners with the time, resources, intimacy and security required for an effective group environment. A network of this size is designed to share experiences and seek advice from other owners who may face or have been through similar business challenges.
How often do they meet?
Once a month seems to work for group meetings. This allows the group, with the help of a facilitator, to diagnose root-cause ailments and design action plans and solutions that are tailored to the needs of each individual member. Members willingly engage in their own forward-looking program with support that is tailored to help them achieve their particular goals and objectives. Outside of the monthly meeting, individual follow-up is encouraged as needed.
An advisory board is led by a qualified, experienced, facilitator and business person who acts as a coach and provides members with additional advice, guidance and support while maintaining accountability.
How can you participate?
(I thought you’d never ask!) In 2016, we’ll be assembling a small number of peer-to-peer networking groups (consisting of up to 10 people maximum) for the purpose of growing your business. In addition to all the hard work, did I mention that we’re going to have a lot of fun too? Click here to sign up now.
The key is to find like-minded business owners who are intellectual, unpretentious and realize that having a structured consulting and advisory program will help them take their business to the next level.
Take this quick survey to find out if a peer-to-peer (p2p) group might help you and your business.
- Are you experiencing inconsistent results?
- Do you find yourself putting out fires or going in multiple directions at once?
- Are you personally overwhelmed and confused regarding corporate direction?
- Do you think your team is not on the same page or are in roles that do not “fit”?
- Are you constantly changing goals and objectives?
- Or do you lack goals or objectives to guide your behavior, with no clear definition of success?
- Do you feel you are always behind?
- Is too much ‘stuff’ impeding your success?
- Is your business is running you — as opposed to you running the business?
- Do you run a business with 1 to 25 employees, or revenues of 300K to 10M?
If you answered YES to any of the above, sign up here to learn more or contact us to see if a p2p group is right for you. Crest Consulting can help you realize maximum profitability and productivity, develop your business and marketing strategies, balance your business with the rest of your life – and address many other business issues you face.
I look forward to working with you.
Have you ever participated in a peer to peer advisor group? What were the results? Let us know in the Comments section below. A real person reads and responds to all comments!
At Crest, we help companies:
- Create content that separates them from their competition
- Become subject matter experts in their field
- Measure the effectiveness of their marketing $$
- Generate a consistent pipeline of high-quality leads for less
- Turn clients into evangelists