Team effort pays off for entrepreneurs

Business owners should not be running the day-to-day activities within their companies. In order to bring small and medium size companies to newer and stronger levels, systems should be running companies. Owners must be in a position to step back and focus on working on the business rather than in the business. The results can be powerful.

Through mentoring and advice, coaches help business owners succeed more and work less. Coaches serve a variety of businesses and professionals from florists and printers to chiropractors and manufacturing companies. Most entrepreneurs have few resources and few places to turn to get advice on sales, marketing and team building. That’s where coaches step in, not with the answers, but with the right questions.

Having an extra set of eyes and ears to look at the performance and goals of your business makes a world of difference. Working with a coach means you don’t have to go it alone. It also holds entrepreneurs accountable to someone outside of their business.

In addition, a new and less expensive coaching trend for entrepreneurs is belonging to an affinity group. Affinity groups can help business owners accelerate their company’s growth. The next time you are lying awake in bed at 2 a.m. wondering how to deal with your entrepreneurial crisis du jour, consider the following: find, join, and participate in affinity groups.

One of the most powerful steps an entrepreneur can take at any stage in his or her development is to find a group of peers. Creating an enterprise can be a lonely task. If an entrepreneur is alone in creating a business (and having a partner or partners doesn’t mean you’re not alone), opportunities for learning and teaching are lost. With an affinity group, you can accelerate your growth and eventually give back your wisdom and experience to those coming after you.

Who Are They and What Do They Do

Affinity groups are gatherings of peers attracted to each other by a common set of experiences and capabilities, or “affinities.” Normally the group is a maximum of 10 people. They have the opportunity to share knowledge and different perspectives as well as providing accountability and developing their own network. Affinity group coaching is normally the less costly option too.

Affinity group coaching helps business owners to:

  • Focus on key goals to achieve business objectives
  • Increase productivity while decreasing work time
  • Widen profit margins
  • Realize their dreams through accountability

What They Are

Affinity groups come in many shapes and sizes. Some are geographically based, by locale or region of the country. Others are specific to age or revenue. Still others are linked to a particular frame of reference, such as the software industry. More examples can include a group of interior designers, all who have different specialities, such as furniture design, kitchen and bathroom design or draperies who share client lists, or a group of personal chefs who join together to increase their ability to bid jobs, or a block of stores that agree on hours of operation and seasonal advertising specials. They often operate like strategic alliances; non-competitive businesses that refer clients and prospects.

One of the incredible things about being alive is having the opportunity to learn and grow with each passing day. The great desire to gain new knowledge and insights into the people and things around us provides an energy that helps overcome the many challenges we confront on life’s journey. We are constantly amazed by the things we didn’t know, by the inaccuracy of our perceptions, by the actions of those we thought we knew better and by the support we receive from unimaginable places.

Keep moving forward even when times are difficult. Try new ways of approaching the same challenges. Take the time to read and listen to the experience and journey of others. There is a lot to learn on the road to building a successful business, or a fulfilling life for that matter.

We are starting to see the signs of an improving marketplace; start to invest in yourself and your business. It will give you the greatest chance of achieving the success you deserve and have worked so hard for.

So the next time you are up at 2 a.m., act on the following: find, join, and participate in affinity groups.

Copyright 2003 Permission required before reproducing.

About the author
Mike Menaker is a certified business coach with Action International- New Jersey. He draws upon more than 25 years of business experience to help small and medium-sized companies to become more successful. He can be reached at 973-267-7395 or visit