Date: 19/06/2015 | By: Liz Painter

If you haven’t already read our Sounding Board Checklist then that’s a good place to start. If you’re already convinced you need a sounding board or peer support in your life and business then read on…

 

In this modern, technological age there are numerous ways to make progress in your business via the input of other business owners. There are many different online forums and webinars – so many that it can be difficult to know where to start – but a good starting point is thinking about the background of the contributors.

 

With a forum, are the people taking part experienced business owners, or are the discussion boards populated by people getting their first business off the ground? While everyone has to start somewhere, taking advice from inexperienced people in the early days of running their first business isn’t sensible.

 

When you’re looking at online webinars, have the speakers set up one or more proper businesses, and grown them to a reasonable size? Are they experienced at helping other business owners? Don’t waste time listening to people who don’t really know what they’re doing.

 

If you have specific challenges in your business, for example you need to recruit another member of staff, or you want to upgrade your IT systems, then it’s a good idea to talk to a specialist (and ideally get a recommendation from someone you trust).

 

As business owners we can often end up having to master lots of different disciplines within our business, but if, for example, you talk to an HR specialist this will save you time and probably money, as you’ll avoid making expensive mistakes such as hiring the wrong person or not getting a good contract in place to protect you from future legal issues.

 

Finally, with a bit of effort, a brilliant way to systematically grow your business is to work with a Mastermind group. Joining a group can be very expensive – many cost £1,000 per month – but setting up your own costs nothing and as long as you find the right people, it can be extremely beneficial.

 

A group would usually consist of between six and twelve business owners who all get round a table on a regular basis (often monthly) to discuss their business goals and challenges. Select Member Andy Phillips set up his own group with five other business owners in his local area, and has this to say about it:

 

“From the onset, the group showed us how, as business owners, we have a tendency to procrastinate certain jobs just because we can. When we have someone else to answer to other than ourselves, our priorities shift and we make it our duty to get the task done, get it done well and get it done on time. There are no excuses that “the dog ate your homework” in our Mastermind group; each of us takes pride in seeing the growth of our own and our teammates’ businesses. It’s our fundamental focus on “getting stuff done” that makes the group so successful.”

 

Hopefully this blog post has given you food for thought about how you can ensure you have at least one sounding board in your business. This is one of the cornerstones of what we do at BizSmart, offering you advice, input, accountability and someone to bounce ideas off via our services. Click here to find out more…