Structured master mind groups have been around for many years yet have remained one of the best kept business support secrets. They are structured from several points of view, the most important being the size of the company. The format for the meetings only changes to serve the needs of the group.
The first group I put together was named BOSS, Business Owners Support System, and I first introduced it to my clients in the mid 1980’s. This group was made up of small business owners who met twice a month. I approved all the members through an interview process to establish core values and compatibility. The businesses were all about the same size in revenue and employees and each member represented a different profession.
I must stress that this was not a “leads” group. The members endorsed each other’s companies as they build trust relationships, but any business exchange between members had to be conducted outside of the scheduled meetings.
Such groups can only function properly if there is a mentor that supports the group and facilitates the meetings. The basic purpose is to share your business expertise by helping others that have experienced business issues that you may have solved. Everything from marketing to management and financial to Human Resources are part of the support that comes from within the group. For special needs, as facilitator, I brought in experts in that particular filed.
Our understanding of the power in such a group and the benefits provided to its members has evolved tremendously over the 25 years. Our current groups meet monthly for a three hour meeting and attendance is almost always 100%. The calendar is published a year in advance so everyone can adjust their time in order to attend. This meeting is the single most important function that members attend to improve their business.
In all such groups confidentiality is very important. What is said at the meetings, stays there. Another important benefit besides education and business support is the accountability system built into the process and is administrated by the members as a show of ongoing care for each other.
Within my support group we have a variety of different group structures that will fit all businesses. In my opinion, this is the ultimate support group to help a business grow in today’s ever changing economic and technological climate.
Nick J. Petra CFP There will be an in-depth look at this topic in the management section of One Biz Central. This will be posted in August. Subscribe at www.onebicentral.com it’s the best $60 per year you can spend to stay on top of business marketing, management, education and technology support.