As a business leader, you might be hearing an often-used buzzword – peer groups. Considering jumping into a peer group scenario can leave you feeling skeptical about the benefits, expectations, and inner workings of a peer group. Spring-Green is here to answer your burning questions and give you a few tips along the way.
What is a peer group?
A peer group is typically made up of a group of CEOs, entrepreneurs or business leaders that, ideally, have linear roles in similar size businesses. The more aligned the elements are, the more beneficial the peer group relationship can become. The group is facilitated by a subject matter expert or consultant that can guide the group and provide meaningful content or direction along the way.
Peer groups should not be confused with networking groups, which are designed to share referrals, create sales, and increase leads and are typically free. One reason a peer group is different because it has a cost to join and is facilitated by a professional. The more impactful difference is that it is about growing skills, collaborating, and honing in on challenges and opportunities – not exchanging leads.
What are the benefits of a peer group?
Let’s face it, life can be lonely at the top. Especially during times when the workforce is lean, the team is working at top capacity and offices are remote due to COVID-19. Business leaders are often left to navigate the landscape and challenges of running the business alone. Even the most seasoned and savvy business leaders among us crave collaboration and seek an outlet to bounce ideas off others in the same lane as them. Here are just a few of the additional benefits of joining a peer group:
- Objective, honest views from experienced pros
- Sounding board for new ideas or common challenges
- Pathways to achieve your goals
- Rewarding personal connections with professional at the same stage of their careers
- Growth for both your career and your business
- Avoidance of burnout as you refuel your passion for running your business
- Networking opportunities that happen organically
What is a peer group made up of?
As a general rule, seek out the following attributes in your potential peer group:
- A strong peer group will almost always have a cost associated with it. A facilitator will use the membership fees to support the group’s progress, keep them connected, and offer workshops, events or forums to connect.
- Being aligned with the members of the group is important. For example, if your business is 25 years old and you are in a group with startup CEOs, you will be on a different page than the members. Additional factors other than age can include business size, geographic location, and industry.
- Feeling a sense of comfort in your group is another key element. As a business leader or CEO, you often have to keep your concerns close to the vest when it comes to your team. When you enter into the peer group, you want to be free to express your challenges without free from repercussions within your business, your industry circles, and of course, without competitive influence.
What is expected of me if I join a peer group?
Having expectations and goals for your peer group experience is essential to what you get out of it. You should anticipate collaboration, accountability, fast-tracked learning, and an opportunity to devote time toward working on your business. This combination of elements can help you set fine-tuned goals and work toward achieving them.
While this is a high-level overview of peer groups to help you get familiar with the concept, the details, and benefits that a good peer group offers could go on for pages. The investment is worth it if you feel aligned with the group, are challenged beyond your comfort zone, are held accountable for your long and short term goals as well as find a safe zone to brainstorm and interact with professionals on the same level as you.
Spring-Green supports its franchise owners as they begin and every step of the way. By becoming a Spring-Green franchise owner, you gain access to a network of systems, processes, marketing modalities and support that can help you bypass the learning curve on your way to success. Of course, the many benefits of peer groups can also help your business shred goals, but as a Spring-Green owner, you’ll already have a leg up.