The Answer Is In Your Peers
By Mike Stephens – CEO
As a business owner, what do you do when you want to grow or overcome a challenge? Who are the best people to turn to for help? For a long time local support systems were based on “advisers” – well-meaning, experienced people who would make suggestions about what you could do next.
But the world is different now: the pace of change is so fast that finding the right adviser with good answers could consume your whole life. A new support system for business owners is needed, which is why we are supporting the UK Government’s Peer to Peer Networks programme .
A key success factor for business owners is productivity: how much time you can spend doing activities that add value instead of things that just take up time. That means being able to get past obstacles quickly, exploit opportunities, and bounce back fast when you are down.
In our experience running global accelerators, having a strong peer network is one of the best assets to increase productivity. This is backed by research (here) which shows that taking action with likeminded people to solve challenges leads to excellent progress.
A peer network is a group of people who get you. They may be going through the same challenges and tackle them in a completely different way. They may have experienced what you are going through and learned something in practice that they can share. Or they may just be able to neck an espresso with you and tell you to keep going when you’re having a rough day.
If you want to build your own peer network, here are three suggestions to get you started:
- Find a different room – with the lack of face-to-face networking happening at the moment, find other online events that enable you to meet new people. Make sure these events represent you, your values and your business and are not just the same old industry gatherings.
- Bring your personality when networking (even online!). If you have your game face on or go into “business mode”, it will be more difficult to connect with people on the level needed for a sustainable network.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help, even from relatively new connections. You will be amazed at the response you get and how a lasting bond is formed when someone has the chance to solve a problem with you.
UK businesses need more sustainable peer networks like these – clusters of great people helping each other to thrive. We will be announcing several regions in the next few weeks where we are running programme to help build peer networks locally. If you want to find out more and get help from people like you, then sign up here for more info – APPLY