The power of networking became more obvious to me this week. I am a member of a network group of roughly sixty business owners drawn from a broad cross section of industries and backgrounds.
During last week’s meeting, one of our members noted that he was facing a severe business challenge in the form of a large competitor moving into his market. The thought was keeping him awake at night.
The word went out that a breakfast meeting would be held for any member interested in attending, with the objective to analyze the situation and develop potential strategic alternatives.
The meeting with our beleaguered colleague and his team was held this week. About a dozen members showed up with a broad cross section of expertise from marketing, retail, wholesale, finance, service, IT, insurance, and HR backgrounds. The ensuing discussion was not only beneficial to our distraught colleague but, I believe, to everyone in the room.
The end result was a business owner, who suddenly saw this new competition not as a threat but as a significant opportunity to focus his business in new ways. Ways which promised not only new business growth, but the potential for increased profitability. The collective insight of the group gathered in the meeting provided not only a new perspective but a significant number of ideas worth investigating further.
The final recommendation was to create a formal advisory board which would meet on a quarterly basis. An advisory board with the purpose of not only providing input, but more importantly, to hold the business owner accountable to implement his strategy. It is the rare individual that will not benefit from some benevolent oversight. It is the rare individual that will not benefit from outside advice.