When it comes to running your small business, are you a Lone Wolf?
Sure, you have trusted employees and you talk to your CPA a couple of times a year, but who can you really trust to bounce important ideas off of? Ultimately you have become successful by trusting your gut and working out solutions for your business on your own. You know your business inside and out because you have been doing it for a while. Every business is unique so why would anyone else understand what you are going through? Being a Lone Wolf has worked out pretty well so far.
That all makes sense but it feels different right now. Business models have been disrupted by change. We are all dealing with changes caused by the Covid19 pandemic and on top of that, we were already in the midst of the 4th industrial revolution. In order to thrive and take advantage of the opportunity shifts that are occurring right now, you will need to make some changes. I am sure that you will eventually figure it out on your own, but when? Time is of the essence. The quicker that you figure out your direction, the greater your chance of optimal success. Perhaps it would help to bring in some other perspectives as you navigate the current environment and look toward the future. Perhaps it is time for the Lone Wolf to join a pack.
Are you familiar with Peer Boards? Peer Boards bring together eight to twelve peers to work together toward the success of each member. These groups may also be called peer groups or perhaps mastermind groups. The idea behind them is that there is more power in a group than just trying to make it on your own. Peers could be small business owners with similar size businesses but different industries or perhaps small business owners in the same industry. They could also be created for managers or executives in an industry or could be formed to help any group of people who may face similar but not identical challenges. The group serves many purposes but each purpose will improve the chance of success for the members.
Have you ever heard the expression, “two heads are better than one”? What about 10 heads? Getting 10 different perspectives on a problem can help you to see alternative solutions and increase the speed in choosing the best solution to meet your needs.
Sometimes our background or the history behind a problem can cause tunnel vision and we become blind to alternative solutions. Peer Boards can provide alternatives that you would have never considered. A Peer Board can help you to “see the forest for the trees”. Sometimes we need to step back from the details to see the big picture. A peer group can help you to see a broader view and provide you with different perspectives which will enable you to conquer current dilemmas and capitalize upon opportunities.
Some small business owners are not concerned about the “forest for the trees” as much as they are dealing with the daily forest fires. A Peer Board can pull you away from those fires for just a few hours a month so that you can work on your business instead of in it. Only by working on your business, can you finally get those fires extinguished and have your life back.
Have you ever tried “brainstorming” on your own? It is not as effective as brainstorming in a group. Even if you brainstorm with employees, often they will have their own agenda or the ideas that they contribute may tend to be influenced by their relationship with you. With peer groups, you work with unbiased individuals who are facing similar challenges to you but also somewhat different scenarios so you gain a broader spectrum of ideas.
Large companies enlist a Board of Directors to guide the company and set strategic objectives for management. A formal Board of Directors probably does not make sense for your small business but a Peer Board can serve a similar purpose.
In the past you had an intense drive to succeed that helped you to build your business but with the lack of control and so many unknowns right now, what is keeping you driving forward? A peer group can provide additional accountability to push you toward achieving your newly formed goals. Sometimes it is hard to hold yourself accountable when you are your own boss but with 10 other peers to report to, you are more likely to push ahead without hesitation toward your goals.
Have you heard the saying, “It is lonely at the top.” Often Entrepreneurs look back fondly upon the camaraderie of their fellow employees when they were climbing the corporate ladder before venturing out on their own. Sometimes members of peer boards simply enjoy the camaraderie of the group; helping each other to attain their ultimate dreams.
I am in the process of forming three different peer boards that I will facilitate through Zoom meetings. I am offering to facilitate these boards for free over the next three months in an effort to help small business owners navigate the changes required by the Covid19 pandemic.
One peer board is open to any restaurant owner in the United States who is willing to commit to helping their peers to navigate the future and enhance the success of the whole group.
Another peer board is open to Arizona Certified Public Accountants who are solo-practitioners and willing to commit to the group for 3 months.
The third peer board is open to Phoenix Metro Area small business owners. The group will consist of members from different industries. Only one member is allowed per industry so that a diverse group will be formed. I am looking for members who are willing to commit to enhancing the lives of fellow Entrepreneurs during one meeting per month for the next 3 months.
If you are interested in committing to one of the groups or if you would like more information, please send me a message in Linked In or an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.