Developing a Support System for your Business
Whether you work alone or have employees, isolation can be debilitating, challenging and bad for business. Pick up the phone, start emailing or meet for coffee –– you’ll benefit by collaborating and connecting with your peers and business professionals on a regular basis. Forming or joining a group of likeminded business people will open up a whole new world of opportunity and give you a chance to share your talents and expertise with others and receive two fold what you give. Women are often brilliant on behalf of others (even when they are struggling with their own situation) and collaboration is one way to bring forth that brilliance and collectively receive the benefits! When you feel heard and have other people problem solving on your behalf, it is an empowering and rewarding experience.
We often worry about revealing ourselves and our business woes in a group setting. Sometimes our instincts tell us to hold information closely –– don't share for fear of something being taken and used by someone else. We worry that exposing our underbelly will make us vulnerable and the information could be used against us. This is understandable, but I suggest another approach; when you bump up against your fears and trepidation, ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?” Getting out of your own way can open the door to new experiences that offer great value.
Having formed advisory boards and facilitated many business development groups, I know that having a group of smart people on your team is one of the most powerful and beneficial things you can do for you and your business.
Options for developing a support system:
- Pick a partner for one on one reciprocal support and accountability. Talk at least twice a month, give and receive equal time at each meeting
- Form a group of 5-8 business people and meet monthly. Decide on a topic in advance, spend part of the meeting discussing the topic and then divide the remaining time between attendees who want to problem solve or brainstorm with the group
- Find a mentor, someone who knows more than you about your type of business, or business in general (banker, accountant, business owner, etc.). Set up regular meetings to benefit from their knowledge and expertise
- Form an advisory board comprised of your professional team, business peers, and/or retired business experts who are willing to offer you their ongoing support. Meet monthly or quarterly
- Hire a consultant with specific expertise in the area you need help. Work with a results oriented proposal rather than an open-ended contract and make sure you know what you’re getting for your money
- Join a facilitated business development group where you are provided with information, business acumen and expertise as well as the opportunity to work on your business in a safe, structured environment
If the idea of a business group appeals to you or you want to learn more about Biz Diva Mastermind groups, please click here.