I recently found myself needing some advice on an aspect of my business but I didn't really know who to ask. Knowing that this wasn’t the last time, I would encounter a situation like this, I wondered what I could do about it. This led to the idea of creating a small group of like-minded business owners who could meet together and run ideas past each other. It turns out that this concept isn't rocket science, and that Mastermind Groups like this have been around for quite a while. I just wish I had of thought of it earlier.
To get the ball rolling, I emailed a few business owners that I know who have similar business goals to me and would possibly benefit from this type of interaction. I also wanted the group to include individuals I had built a trusting business relationship with over time but weren't necessarily clients, so that we could discuss things like handling a confidential issue and be assured that this information would remain confidential.
It was great to receive some positive responses to my emails so I set up our first meeting, which was a huge success. Each of us brought to the meeting one thing related to our business that we wanted advice on. We soon discovered that each member of the group had different strengths and different skills and experience to offer.
Our group is made up of two creative types and two more practical types. At this first meeting, the challenge brought by one of the creative members was how to set up an Excel spreadsheet to record her incoming and outgoing income. The two more practical members solved this problem easily. This help was reciprocated with the creative members assisting with some marketing type ideas.
I have since found that meeting regularly with this group is healthy not just for the advice received and from a networking perspective but also for the social side of things. Working from home has its benefits, like avoiding office politics, however, there is only limited conversation I can have with my dog, Coco.
I cannot think of any small business owner who would not benefit from this type of group. The extent of what could be achieved within a group like this is only limited by your imagination.