Utilizing A Peer Advisory Group To Grow Your Business
Content provided by the Women Presidents' Organization
by Marsha Firestone, Ph.D.
President and Founder, Women Presidents’ Organization
SIDEBAR: Entrepreneurs in peer advisory groups enjoy cross-fertilization and idea generation while they seek solutions to significant business challenges in a confidential setting.
Professional advisors have important roles in multi-million dollar women owned and women led businesses, but these consultants do not provide all the ideas and insights needed. Women entrepreneurs form peer advisory groups, in conjunction with their core advisers for the purpose of sharing expertise and finding solutions to significant business challenges.
A peer advisory group allows you to connect with women who share similar issues. Laurie Kahn, President, Media Staffing Network & All About Careers, says of her peer group in the Women Presidents’ Organization, "I find it very important to be able to meet and talk with other women who experience some of the same issues that I do. Others may not understand what a business owner goes through in an average day."
Members of the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), which serves women entrepreneurs of businesses that generate at least $2 million in gross annual sales, maintain that their peer advisory groups have helped them achieve greater business success through the processes of confirmation, collaboration, confidentiality, and connections.
• Confirmation: A peer advisory group of non competitive businesses serves as your informal board of directors who listen, advise, and validate your experiences. Besides obtaining new business information, your benefits range from decreased isolation to fresh business strategies.
• Collaboration: Joining a peer advisory group widens your circle of contacts across diverse backgrounds and industries, and diverse ideas. The participants of such groups commonly see increased revenues in their businesses along with decreased company costs.
• Confidentiality: Peer advisory members trade solutions while respecting trade secrets. They build strong bonds with other members and return to their respective work environments reenergized and revitalized.
• Connections: Members of entrepreneurial peer advisory groups can develop strategic alliances and unique strategies for growing their businesses.
The CEO of Royal Coachman Worldwide, Amy Birnbaum believes her WPO peer advisory group has helped to promote her personal growth and provided strategies that have significantly expanded her business. "In the Women Presidents’ Organization, I have met and befriended some incredible women with amazing expertise who have advised me on business strategies and issues," Birnbaum says.
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