"None of us are as smart as all of us"
This quote from the famous author, speaker and business consultant, Ken Blanchard, simply makes sense. Of course having people to collaborate with creates an atmosphere where more ideas are produced and brought to fruition. And having a few like-minded folks to bounce ideas off of helps you solve issues with your field service business.
We recently hosted our annual HindSite Business Summit here in St. Paul, Minn. and saw some very cool things happen with our customers. When you have a group of people all in the same line of work, but from different parts of the country(and continent technically, shout out to our Canadian customers who made the trek!), they talk shop. The most enjoyable part of the entire Summit for me was listening to our customers discuss how they are performing jobs, what jobs they’re doing, how they’re pricing their services and employee related topics. They were comfortable discussing what they normally hold close to their chest because none of the people they were speaking with are competitors.
So that got me thinking, what are some of the benefits of continuing these conversations year-round? Here are four powerful ways that a peer group strengthens your field service business:
Unbiased view of your business
As a field service business owner, it is often difficult to take an objective look at your operations. You built it, it’s your time, your hard work that made it what it is today. But taking an honest look at any issues in how your business is run might be tough a tough thing to do.
Joining a peer group for field service professionals gives you that objectivity that you need in order to make tough decisions. The people that you connect with aren’t affected by the decisions you make, but they might have been in a similar situation that you are in. If you’re having trouble with a toxic employee or even considering which equipment to go with, a peer group can be an easy way to get the answer from someone who might also be in your shoes.
One of the key benefits of joining a peer group is the personal development that it promotes. The people in a field service peer group bring an array of knowledge. You can learn from them and how they operate their businesses. How they have been successful and also the mistakes they have made that you can learn from.
Joining a field service business peer group brings different perspectives to common problems within your line of work. You might have trouble with scheduling and dispatching, you might be having a tough time writing up a contract for a commercial account or you might be having issues with one of your employees. A peer group is a great way to hear how other professionals handle these issues. To go a step further, it might even be helpful to network with professionals across industries. For instance, a solution to a problem that an irrigation company found might work well with a snow removal company.
Networking with individuals from different locations can be helpful, too. California seems to always be a trendsetter, but one of the geographical issues that they are faced with, drought, has been the reason for the change in focus for some service companies. The water saving methods that irrigation businesses have been using and also the landscaping designs that are now popular out west can also be applied in other areas.
Share your knowledge
A peer group is a great way to help out other people. As a successful business owner, it is an opportunity to share what you have learned over the years with other people who might be facing the same struggles that your business has successfully overcome.