CEO Roundtables are the best kept secret of great small businesses. Most participating businesses are generally more successful than other small businesses. Why? By regularly working "on" your business instead of "in" your business you chart a course that propels your business further faster. Roundtable participants gain improved growth, profitability and fiscal strength. Your business's bottom line can benefit from your roundtable investment. Roundtables help businesses run better, grow faster and make more money.
As a small business leader, you face greater challenges than ever before. Your competitors are relentless, customers are scarce and every day brings another wildfire that needs to be put out. Sometimes you feel like the proverbial gerbil furiously running on the wheel but getting nowhere. Business owners face a unique set of challenges. At our best, we're independent, confident, driven self-starters. But at our worst, we're isolated, overwhelmed and without allies. None of us can do it alone.
Do you believe it is important to invest time and money in your own development as a business owner and leader? Would you value insightful help from other business owners in resolving "sticky" business issues? Would resolving those issues more quickly and easily save time, money, and reduce your stress? Do you wish you had ample physical, emotional and time reserves to enjoy running your business instead of having it run you?
Joining a small business roundtable is the best way to start working on (not in) your business. The concept is not new. It's a concept that is nearly 300 years old, and it has stood the test of time. Benjamin Franklin, early in his career, formed a group he liked to call the Junto. He gathered a group of like-minded tradesmen together to meet regularly to help each member improve himself and his business through collective learning and problem solving. Others have recognized the power of the peer learning group. Napoleon Hill, in his classic "Think & Grow Rich" calls this a "Master Mind" group and is a key component in his success principles, too. Today's Roundtable members gather with the same goal: helping fellow business leaders improve their performance and be the most effective.
A small business roundtable provides business owners with an opportunity to discuss with their peers business matters of importance to them. They can bounce ideas off the others, get new ideas about solving old problems and share each other's experiences in order to help each other become more successful in business. The whole idea is to allow each member to tap into the collective wisdom and experience of the group to help them prevent mistakes, solve tricky business situations and to maximize their opportunities.
Roundtable members become close colleagues and provide motivation for each other. Business roundtable members share camaraderie, a sense that "we're all in this together." A group of supportive peers helps you align your values, goals and strategies. The roundtable model works because of members' commitment both to each other and to the group. Members take responsibility for their group's success and stay fully engaged.
Furthermore, participants give their best to their peers, and get the best of their peers in return. And it's a place where business leaders can find accountability once a problem is discussed, fellow roundtable members will check in, making sure the others have followed through. Groups provide members with support, empowerment and accountability, so you can grow from good to great.
The benefits of these roundtables is to help the business owners learn what works, get peer feedback, test your ideas with a supportive group of business owners, and learn from their successes and experiences, while growing your business network. The one requirement for every roundtable is that it is comprised of a diverse group of business owners who are not competing in their daily business. This one requirement establishes an environment that is open, honest, and most beneficial to the members.
The Reno SCORE chapter operates a local small business roundtable called the Northern Nevada Business Forum. The roundtable meets monthly and consists of non-competitive business owners who share ideas, solve problems and grow their businesses. The NNBF is facilitated by SCORE mentors. The sessions are informative and conversational. SCORE is expanding the NNBF to add new members. If you are ready to transform yourself and your business, contact the Reno SCORE office 775-784-4436 today.
John Moran is the founder and president of Global Gateways, Inc. a learning facilitation company that provides executive training and consulting services in the areas of leadership development, business process redesign and systems project management. He is also a SCORE mentor who works with existing businesses in northern Nevada. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.