2020 was a tough year for many Microbusinesses! How do you get your business growing again? One of the biggest challenges for leaders of Microbusinesses is how they get the training they need to keep up with their larger competitors. With all the other challenges they face, they also need to accelerate their learning and training in a cost effective way.
Tony Robinson OBE and Tina Boden are hosting Microbizmatters Day on January 8. You can find the most current details at Microbiz Matters Day. It’s a great opportunity to learn and spend time celebrating the success of other microbusinesses. I’ll see you there.
Accelerate Learning, Increase Success
In the spirit of Microbizmatters Day, I have three ideas to help you get the training you need in a cost effective way. In my business, there is never enough time to get the training I need in a timely manner. I’ve learned my lesson and now all of my consulting engagements include time for my ongoing training and development.
I have three coaching tools I’ve seen work with many smaller business leaders even in the most challenging times. I want to share these three today because there are so many different types of microbusinesses and each have their own leadership development challenges.
You don’t have to use all three tools. Pick one that works best with who you are and how you best learn. I’ve successfully run several microbusinesses in my career. Each required a different style of training and development for me as well as my teams.
I provide these ideas so you can choose what’s best for your and your team. Technology today could allow us to do all three but for most of us microbusiness entrepreneurs, we don’t have the time or the energy to be active in all of the activities.
Peer Coaching for Microbusinesses
The first training activity is to develop a coaching relationship with a peer. I’ve had several clients do this both internally and externally. Having the ability to talk with someone outside the organization can provide significant advantage to both people involved.
A great place to start is by looking at Peer Coaching Overview: From Andrew Thorn, Marilyn McLeod, Marshall Goldsmith.
Still not sure about peer coaching? Here are 10 Benefits of Peer Coaching in the Workplace.
Knowing you are not alone with the challenges you face can provide comfort to microbiz leaders. This accelerated learning can significantly cut your learning curve when exploring new ideas for your business.
The one warning I share is that this requires two people who are willing to learn how to coach each other. There is nothing more frustrating in a peer coaching relationship is when one of the leaders is not committed to making it work. So, choose your peer partner carefully.
Much of the material I share is from Marshall Goldsmith who is one of the top leadership coaches and thinkers in the world. He is very generous with his advice. I’ve used many of his ideas with smaller clients and they never fail.
Create Your Microbiz Mastermind
The second training activity I’ve used with my smaller clients is creating a regional mastermind group. This seems like an obvious option given what we are experiencing with the pandemic. Zoom and Microsoft Teams can decrease the virtual meeting challenges facing smaller organizations.
This learning option provides a great resource for your microbusinesses. You have an opportunity to build a stronger community as well. Several of my better clients came from mastermind groups I was part of. I was also able to refer clients to other small businesses because I knew what my mastermind partner did.
What have I learned from being part of several mastermind groups? The ideal size is between 10-15 people. Pick people from a wide range of industries who are willing to share your best ideas. I believe a well run mastermind group can help you grow very quickly.
Start a Book Club in Your Microbusinesses Today!
Finally, let me share a recent addition to my leadership development toolbox. Consider creating a book club inside your organization. My friend the librarian told me this idea and it changed how I coach teams inside organizations.
Here’s what you do, you pick a book that you share with your team. Buy a copy of the book for each of your team members then assign a chapter to each person. For shy members of the team, provide a couple of quick questions to ask everyone else. Every week cover a new chapter.
This provides a learning culture where everyone can share what they think about what they read. This learning activity helps build camaraderie and engagement for your team members. Reading several books a year this way provides your microbusinesses an incredible advantage in your market.
You can even have different team members choose the books they read. Make it fun and you will be happily surprised by the results it produces.
So where do you find great business books to kick off your book club efforts? A great place to start is with Top 10 Online Book Clubs for Entrepreneurial Inspiration.
There, I’ve shared three ways accelerate your learning in your microbusinesses. The only true advantage microbusinesses have are their people. Their ability to learn more quickly and be more flexible than many of your larger competitors.
Come back next week when I share my favorite tool for building leadership in smaller businesses, coaching. I think you’ll like what you read. If you can’t wait, you might enjoy this article Wanted: Great Coaching Leaders To Help People Grow Into 2021!
I’ll share several simple ways to build you and your teams coaching ability. See you next week.