I was recently listening to a CD on delegation for small business owners and one of the points the speaker made was one of the top reasons businesses fail. Support.
As a small business owner you are everything to your business. Sales, Marketing, Operations, Admin, bookkeeping and many other parts. Having peer support is one of the things that can help you build your business.
Connecting with people of like minds, in a similar industry can really help boost your own business. You need a sounding board, you need someone who understands where you are and what outside influences can affect how you run your business.
For the past couple of years I have met weekly with an Accountability Group. We started as two then built to four people. All Virtual Assistants, in some way or another. We met to discuss plans, goals, issues and more. Being in the same industry we never felt like competitors, but more like colleagues and collaborators. We understand the issues that affect our specific businesses and the support we provide each other actually helps each of us continue to grow and build our own businesses.
Last spring, we decided to take this group a step farther and meet in person to dig deep into our businesses and do some intense concentrated work on our businesses. A time to step away from the daily work and issues that keep us from going deep into our plans.
And this is where I am right now… locked away in a house in Ontario working hard on new plans ( and in some cases old plans that never made it to completion) with 5 other fabulous women business owners.
We are intense into our Mastermind Retreat weekend and have been working hard every day. We scheduled time and specific As a small group we have been able to take time and listen to each others issues; sharing ideas to help, techniques, tools and in some cases confirming beliefs that have been sitting in the back of our minds and needed reassurance that yes it is time to change. (one of my contributions was the lobster dinner – direct from Nova Scotia! An experience for two of the group who had never tasted lobster before)
Peer Support is soooo helpful to entrepreneurs and small business owners. The inspiration and information you will receive and share in a group like this should (and will) propel your business forward. And networking is how you will find your own support group.
Whether networking in person or online (as I do a lot of mine), you can look for and discover people that you connect with, you resonate with and ones who will also have a different opinion to share with you. They do not have to be clones of yourself – that won’t always be helpful… eyes that have a different view on your business are more helpful to you than a clone.
Take a look around your business world and circle of contacts – who there do you see that appeals to you as a peer? Can you bring something to the table to help them? These are a couple questions to help you find and start your own Accountability / Peer Group. Get out there and be the instigator and create your own group. It may take some time to grow and find the right people; but it really will be a help to your business. Having the extra eyes and ears will become something you enjoy and look forward to with your regular meetings.
My peer group support this week has been invaluable! Thanks to all the Gals who committed to themselves and each other to make this happen!