In doing research for The Small Business Forum, I found two authors who succinctly describe a major source of frustration for business owners.  The first states: “One of the toughest things about starting a business is the feeling of loneliness and isolation…. The leadership position alone can cause loneliness and disconnectedness, and that sometimes results in self-defeating behaviors.”  I’m sure many owners can relate to this sense of “isolation” as well as the “self-defeating behaviors” listed by both authors:  Conflict avoidance, Procrastination, Intimidation or Subpar feedback to employees.

How can owners overcome this? Both authors point to building and regularly consulting with a trusted team of advisors.  This is perfectly describes the purpose of The Small Business Forum.

The Small Business Forum (SBF) is a professionally facilitated peer support group of business owners where they present and resolve their most pressing business issues.  At the heart of The SBF are groups of 5-6 owners specifically chosen to match key-aspects of their business experiences.  Meeting monthly, these SBF Teams focus on and work together to strengthen and grow each others’ business. Guided by a seasoned Management Coach, The SBF is a confidential, supportive and challenging environment to achieve the results that are most important to you and your business.

As a business owner, how can The SBF help you?  If you recognize any of the “self-defeating” habits listed above, here’s how The SBF can help.

Conflict  Avoidance: Avoiding doing regular employee evaluations is a common example I hear from many owners.  Reasons for avoiding evaluations usually are attributed to fear of how employees will react and lack of experience in conducting evaluations.  SBF participants can rely on other Team members, as well as the Team’s Management Coach, to share their experiences and guide you in how to successfully conduct evaluations that result in greater employee satisfaction and retention.

Procrastination: At some point every business owner suffers from procrastination.  As I’ve noted previously it is a natural human response to favor busyness, always finding something to do, rather than taking a moment to reflect.  However, this leads to procrastination when it comes to planning for the future of your company.  And even when you have a plan, it is too easy to assign a lower priority to that plan in the face of day-to-day tasks.  After all, it is not like anyone is going to call you on this since owners are not accountable to anyone but themselves.  In The SBF, owners help each other develop plans for growth and improvement as well as hold each other accountable for following through on those plans.

Intimidation/Subpar Feedback: It too easy to fall into either of these traps especially if you do not have someone you trust with whom you can confidentiality share your ideas or just relieve stress by griping.  At The SBG you are part of a team bonded by the common experience of owning a business and who you can rely on to fill the role of trusted advisors.

Interested in learning more about The Small Business Forum?  Give Mark at 717.439.6254 or click here to send him an email.