The information you submit via our enquiry form is shared only with the franchise business(es) that you have selected.

The franchise business will contact you by means of email and/ or telephone only to the email address and phone number you have provided.

By submitting the enquiry form you are consenting to send your personal information to the selected franchise business.

You also agree to receive further newsletter email marketing from What Franchise.

Close

Why now’s the time for peer-to-peer support

Why now’s the time for peer-to-peer support

Luke Townsend, owner of BizSmart Birmingham and Solihull, on raising your business game with external perspectives

While internal business analysis is essential, an external business perspective can prove to be invaluable in terms of gaining a new understanding of your business structure, strategy, and even challenges.

Peer-to-peer support consists of a group of business leaders who come together to provide advice and discuss, learn, and share ideas and business strategies. By using a peer-to-peer support system, business leaders are able to talk candidly about their business development and the issues they may be experiencing.

A peer-to-peer group is essential for gaining a diverse range of outside perspectives, through speaking with other like-minded business owners to asking questions, challenging each other and creating solutions. As the group should be a nonjudgemental environment where everyone can express themselves and help each other, members can openly share their business fears, concerns and successes.

Many business leaders choose to attend peer-to-peer support groups as not only do they encourage a dynamism to typical business brainstorming, but they can also be incredibly useful for providing solutions for current challenges faced within any company.

Benefits of peer-to-peer support

For many businesses, growth and scalability are the main objectives. However, statistics reveal that growth in business can be very difficult to achieve. BizSmart’s recent research shows that only four per cent of UK businesses manage to scale beyond 10 employees and a seven-figure turnover.

Peer-to-peer support can be fundamental for identifying gaps in business strategy and enabling business leaders to overcome challenges to growth.

BizSmart’s research reported that 83 per cent of business leaders experienced an increase in business resilience, thanks to the positive impact of peer-to-peer sessions. The research, which surveyed business leaders who participated in BizSmart’s dedicated ‘Flight Academy’ programme, also highlighted that business owners in this group experienced an average increase of 19 per cent in profits compared to the year before.

The efficacy of peer-to-peer sessions is reinforced by the fact that these reported increases in profit were achieved during the challenging economic climate resulting from the pandemic and national lockdowns, with 100 per cent of business leaders also confirming an increase in confidence, leadership and capacity as a result of attending the ‘Flight Academy’ programme.

“Growth now feels achievable and realistic”

For Hornbeam Training & Wellbeing and Centre Maps, attending a peer-to-peer support group with BizSmart Gloucestershire has helped bring about significant improvements.

Claire Bennett founded Hornbeam Training & Wellbeing, a workplace wellbeing consultancy, in 2019, specialising in promoting workplace wellbeing and creating healthy and proactive workplaces. Initially, Claire was excited about her new venture and dedicated to building a business that would have a positive impact on people’s lives. However, as the business grew, Claire realised that running a business is never easy. Her workload began to seem endless, so she sought help in BizSmart Gloucestershire’s services, utilising its peer-to-peer sessions in order to increase her business expertise.

“Running your own business can be a lonely place at times,” admits Claire. “When you’re acting as the MD, HRD, FD and frontline staff, dealing with your clients can feel like this enormous mountain with a peak that just keeps moving further away.

“I’ve found that the monthly BizSmart ScaleUp Club and the Smart90-day plan days are not only beneficial in terms of what you learn in planning and strategy but are also an opportunity to connect.

“You may have a challenge and because you’re so close to your business, finding ways to deal with it can feel difficult. As my business grew, I found that I was working all the hours and allowing admin tasks to build up. I was unsure how to go about changing this and was nervous about releasing elements of my business to someone else.”

Through peer discussion at ScaleUp Club, Claire was given a clear plan of how to go to market for a VA with a clear list and description of tasks. “The sessions helped me with both the interview process and selecting the right person for the job,” she adds. “I also received invaluable advice on how to manage staff relationships through quality checks and good communication.”

Overall, Claire found the ScaleUp Club essential in facilitating business growth. “As a micro business I can very easily get caught up in the day-to-day delivery,” she explains. “I started working with Granger Forson (owner of BizSmart Gloucester) after my second year in business, and he became my coach, providing much-needed structure for plans, direction, and targets.

“We started by analysing my long-term goals, and then to make these targets easier to achieve, we created a concise 90-day plan. This made my targets less overwhelming and easier to achieve. I utilised BizSmart Smart90 software to the max, and I found these tools really helpful for tracking my targets.

The quarterly check-ins with Granger keep me accountable for my own performance and provide an opportunity to celebrate the wins and get support for any challenges. As a result of these sessions, I have just finished my third year of business and I have seen significant growth. My profitability has increased from 52 per cent to 83 per cent, I have plans to continue growing my business, and with the BizSmart strategies put in place, growth feels achievable and realistic. I’ve acquired both structure and confidence that I need through the BizSmart community. I even have plans to start another business in the future, which I will of course be doing with peer-to-peer support.”

Another beneficiary of peer-to-peer support is Andrew Terry, founder of Centre Maps, a geo-service which allows customers to find quality maps and download them for immediate use. Andrew first started working with Granger at BizSmart Gloucester in the early days of his business and now reflects on the valuable lessons learned along the way.

“Participating in the BizSmart High Growth course really helped me to recognise that while businesses may be unique in their offerings, the fundamentals of running them are largely common to all.

“Many of the themes on the course looked at challenges and areas requiring improvement. The course provided a framework to ensure that we could focus on deliverable elements. In particular, the Smart90 element of the program has enabled us to create meaningful timelines for developing products or improvements to our services, so that we can ensure we are only working on the most important. Smart90 also picked up on the need to consider all aspects of the business in setting our goals and not to overlook finding opportunities to improve our finance processes or even personal goals.”

While it is the early days of working under the Smart90 approach, Andrew feels a “renewed positivity” as he achieves goals, and has greater visibility of the progress he’s making.

“Having come from a background of working on the technical aspects of delivering products and services, I was personally aware that I needed to shift my mindset from ‘doing the job’ to running the business,” he concludes. “The course has really helped me to understand how to work effectively with the rest of my team to share knowledge and responsibility and allocate more time to focus on steering the business.”

Overcoming obstacles

Peer-to-peer support can play a crucial role in helping businesses overcome whatever it is that is holding them back, allowing them to utilise the collective experience of a group of trusted fellow business leaders. Peers are a great source of mentoring, and, by participating in groups with those who have already ‘been there, done that’, businesses can position themselves for future success. A peer-to-peer support group should contain credible people with different experiences who can challenge some of our subconscious biases because they view things differently.

Similarly, a union of experienced business leaders joined with younger businesses can help to provide invaluable insight into the running of a business. Overall, these sessions can be a great way to draw inspiration for the new year and add an element of dynamism to any business.

“Since joining BizSmart as the first franchise owner in 2021, I have overseen and worked with some great clients including Claire and Andrew,” says Granger Forson. “It has been highly rewarding to see the growth in confidence, clarity and business results that both Claire and Andrew have achieved.”

Perks of peer-to-peer groups

The benefits of meeting other business leaders for advice and inspiration are many and varied. Here are just a few:

  • Pragmatic advice based on experience: One of the great aspects of peer-to-peer groups is the mix of experiences from being at different stages of the ‘ScaleUp Journey’. Those further along the road are able to give earlier-stage businesses valuable insights into challenges they have already faced – things they may have got right, but also things they may have got wrong. Similarly, younger businesses are able to provide new, innovative ideas to older businesses, inspiring them to think differently.
  • Diversity of insight: Running a business is a unique experience and there is no one perfect strategy for achieving success. The variety of peers in the support group can offer a selection of perspectives on what could work for a business while enabling leaders to seek inspiration from a range of people, all with different ideas. It is all too easy to get stuck in our ways of thinking, which can lead to biases we may not even be aware of. Having our assumptions challenged can help us to make better decisions on a consistent basis.
  • Confidence and Inspiration: Seeing successes around the group can inspire us to push further and to achieve more while giving us confidence derived from having credible input into our decision-making.
  • Networking: Peer-to-peer support groups offer a perfect way to network with like-minded individuals. Although the group isn’t about selling, there is still an opportunity to expand your network and build new and mutually beneficial relationships.

For more information, contact bizsmart.co.uk and bizsmartfranchising.co.uk

Exciting Franchise Opportunities

Just Shutters Business logo

Start your own Just Shutters Business franchise

Profit Chart
Funding Support Available ? Help is available. Check out our franchising funds guide.

Yes

Find Out More
Expected Revenue After 2 Years

£50,000 - £100,000 profit

Request Free Information
Find Out More
Just Shutters Business logo

Request Free Information

Send a free enquiry to Just Shutters Business for further information!

By sharing your email, you're agreeing to our privacy policy, cookie policy and terms & conditions.
Auntie Anne’s logo

Start your own Auntie Anne’s franchise

Profit Chart
Funding Support Available ? Help is available. Check out our franchising funds guide.

Yes

Find Out More
Expected Revenue After 2 Years

N/A

Request Free Information
Find Out More
Auntie Anne’s logo

Request Free Information

Send a free enquiry to Auntie Anne’s for further information!

By sharing your email, you're agreeing to our privacy policy, cookie policy and terms & conditions.
Drivalia logo

Start your own Drivalia franchise

Profit Chart
Funding Support Available ? Help is available. Check out our franchising funds guide.

Yes

Find Out More
Expected Revenue After 2 Years

N/A

Request Free Information
Find Out More
Drivalia logo

Request Free Information

Send a free enquiry to Drivalia for further information!

By sharing your email, you're agreeing to our privacy policy, cookie policy and terms & conditions.
Crunch Fitness logo

Start your own Crunch Fitness franchise

Profit Chart
Funding Support Available ? Help is available. Check out our franchising funds guide.

Yes

Find Out More
Expected Revenue After 2 Years

£1,782,200

Request Free Information
Find Out More
Crunch Fitness logo

Request Free Information

Send a free enquiry to Crunch Fitness for further information!

By sharing your email, you're agreeing to our privacy policy, cookie policy and terms & conditions.
PACK & SEND logo

Start your own PACK & SEND franchise

Profit Chart
Funding Support Available ? Help is available. Check out our franchising funds guide.

Yes

Find Out More
Expected Revenue After 2 Years

N/A

Request Free Information
Find Out More
PACK & SEND logo

Request Free Information

Send a free enquiry to PACK & SEND for further information!

By sharing your email, you're agreeing to our privacy policy, cookie policy and terms & conditions.
View all opportunities