Being a business owner can feel like you’re on an island. There are so many things to do and groups of people and processes to oversee, and it can feel like no one really understands. But at the same time, it feels dangerous to talk to someone who could be seen as a ‘competitor’ that could take sales away from you. So what is an MSP to do?
Why Join a Peer Group?
Joining and participating in a peer group is incredibly valuable, especially to businesses that are growing rapidly or already on the larger side. To help avoid feelings of isolation, a peer group gives owners the chance to talk to other business owners and avoid having to ‘reinvent the wheel’. Why not learn from others who have already been where you are?
For example, TruMethods’ newest peer group, TruPeer, takes this one step further by offering ‘menteerability’, which combines peer accountability with mentorship from our President, Gary Pica and our TruMethods coaches. Growth in larger businesses has more margin of error, since there are more environments to mitigate and more people to manage, so it’s helpful to make the least number of mistakes possible. By talking with others who have been where you are now, you can learn how to avoid those mistakes.
Peer Groups Encourage Friendly Competition
Peer groups can also be a very motivating environment. Gary told us at TruMethods a story about how he joined a peer group and how everyone in that group was super excited about getting 10 percent profit margins on their sales. When Gary told them he gets 20 percent profit margins they were flabbergasted, and then felt determined to get the same profit margins he did. That sense of friendly competition kicked in and Gary helped them along the way to get to that 20 percent threshold. Everyone in the peer group did better because they now knew it was possible.
How Can Peer Groups Benefit You?
Another facet of peer, especially peer groups that are industry-specific, is that everyone is speaking the same lingo. It can take a long time to ensure that everyone is on the same page, understanding the same industry language, and that everyone is heading in the right direction. By not having to focus on linguistic ambiguity of a non-specific group, an industry-specific peer group gives all of that time back to focus on other things. From the TruMethods perspective, our peer groups like Winner’s Circle, TruPeer, and our Sales Accountability Group take that lingo a step further. Everyone is aimed at trying to follow the TruMethods Way, understanding the Schnizz, and the entirety of the TruMethods Framework. Because of this, the help given can be even more distilled.
This still doesn’t address the ‘competition’ question. Why would a business owner want to meet with other business owners that have a similar business in the same area? In the TruMethods model, even if there is another MSP down the street who is doing just as well as you are, it's a bit of a moot point. Why?
- There is enough business for everyone. Gary and TruMethods CIO, Bob Penland have proven that it is possible to have a very successful MSP and a large number of successful TruMethods members in a not very large area (like Philadelphia).
- If there is another MSP that is going after the same sales you are, the potential client has a decision to make; which delivery do they want? As long as the client understands what they are comparing, that isn't a decision that can be argued with. They know what you are offering, what the other company is offering, and they are going to pick what they think is best. You did everything you could as a business to show them what you could do for them, and that’s all anyone can ask for.