Mastermind Your Small Business Success
Although it had been a dream of my husbands for decades, the thought of starting a business on my own was simultaneously exhilarating and terrifying. After some careful thought and discussion, my husband Gerard and I cashed in our NY chips and moved to Maine in 2003 to birth Gerards baby, his jewelry store, Porte4.
For all of you self-employed, small business owners reading this, you know what I mean about the exhilarating / terrifying contrasting emotions that occur in the course of running your own business dont you? In fact, the exhilaration can turn to terror in the blink of an eye, feeling like the two emotions are inseparable.
But get here, we did and I found the resources available to small business owners and entrepreneurs overwhelming. If you are thinking about starting a business, want to buy a business or want to grow the business you already have, theres no shortage of information here: SCORE, SBA, ASBDC [http://www.asbdc-us.com], http://www.Business.Gov, Small Business Assistance Center at http://www.sbacnetwork.org. These are just a few; the list goes on & on. Two other great sources of information are Entrepreneur.com and the small business section on About.com ( http://www.about.com/business). Happy researching!!Gathering the information wasnt the problem. What I found the most difficult was converting all the information I found into usable and practical how-to data. It was data overload and I needed to talk to someone about the real-world of starting the business, not the academics of it. Things like:
How do you balance the needs of everyone: customers, employees, family, self?
When and how do you make the decision to hire your first employee?
...and then how do you recruit and keep great people?
What is the right mix for marketing your small business? Multi-media advertising, PR, speaking, event sponsorship, direct and e-mailing; networking; community involvement Argh!
Growth Strategies How do you balance the need for growth & innovation yet keep the core of your business steady and strong?
Well? Who can you turn to for help in making critical decisions? Wouldnt it be nice to talk to someone on a regular basis who 1) you could trust and 2) could give you feedback based on their experience?
Consider joining a small business mastermind forum. Mastermind forums or peer advisory groups provide small business owners and entrepreneurs a confidential environment to share with each other, helping each other by leveraging each others experience and knowledge, and so much more.The benefits of a good group will FAR exceed the investment.
Among them are:
Reduce Costs: Small business owners often dont have the budget to "re-invent the wheel". By learning what other businesses have successfully done, you can save time and money.
Avoid Mistakes: Solving business problems on your own can result in costly delays and errors. Learning what others have done can help keep you moving forward.
Find New Ideas: Get outside your own paradigm and see through the eyes of other business owners. They may give you a perspective that leads you to a far greater outcome than you could have achieved on your own.
Improve Performance: When you look for best practices outside your own business, a wonderful thing happens. You raise the bar of performance and set new standards of excellence to propel your company forward.
There are a number of executive / CEO forum groups you can consider. Most are franchised and target the executives of larger companies (those with $10 million in sales or more). From personal experience I know the challenges small business owners and solo-preneurs have are every bit as plentiful and just as frustrating and complex as those of larger organizations. However, the smaller the business the more the professional can benefit from participating in a small business mastermind forum.
Larger organizations have their boards of directors and big budgets. Small business owners and entrepreneurs should have their own advisory support. Grow your small business success through a small business mastermind group.
Until next time, BE BOLD, Do Bold Business. Remember, it all starts with a Vision.
Bold Vision Consulting helps small business owners and entrepreneurs perform to their full potential and get the results they need. Bold Visions mastermind small business forum, Ocular Forum [http://www.boldvisionconsulting.com/OcularForum.php], is customized for the entrepreneur and small business owner. Ocular Forum provides small business owners and entrepreneurs a confidential environment, the system and the support to grow their business with the greatest possibility for success.
Lynnelle Bianco, President, has over 25 years experience as a leader in sales, marketing, client service and in the effective planning and execution of strategic plans and projects. Originally from Dallas, Texas, Lynnelle moved to Portland, Maine from New York City in 2003 after a successful career as Vice President in JPMorgans Global Investor Services Division. In Portland, Lynnelle also owns Porte4 with her husband Gerard.