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The Value Of Partnerships & Accountability Groups On Business

Marketing Kuel Category Expert: Lori Lyons

As small business owners, we face decisions about our businesses daily – from how much to charge, to what type of email system to use, and when is it time to finally take out the garbage.

When you add that to the numerous other demands on our personal time, it can be overwhelming for a business owner.

Participate In Accountability Groups:

One of the most underutilized and often overlooked ways to grow our businesses is to participate in accountability and/or support-type groups.

I’m not talking about coaching groups, or paid programs, but personal accountability peer groups or partnerships that move you and your business forward. It’s very much of a give-and-take relationship within the group or partnership. I’ve found that one of the best ways to participate in this group is to form your own; based on what you need in your business.

I’ve been fortunate in my business to cultivate both types – an accountability partner and a peer relationship group. One was very deliberate and one happened totally by chance.

“I’ve found that one of the best ways to participate in this group is to form your own based on what you need in your business.”

My Accountability Partner:

My accountability partner and I will celebrate three years together this summer. We met in a group coaching program and I knew I wanted to work with an accountability partner.

I didn’t want someone I knew well, as sometimes it’s harder to set parameters when you know someone well. In this case, I was drawn to Melissa’s energy and how we seemed to be in the same place in our businesses. I went with my intuition and inner guidance and actually listened to it for a change! I asked Melissa if she was interested and three years later – we still meet every week.

My Peer Group:

My peer group happened by chance, with a bit of self-interest thrown in. Four of us meet weekly via Zoom and spend about 90 minutes to 2 hours mostly working on our businesses.

We started by attending a business event together 18 months ago and decided, after the event, we would work on a short program we all purchased together – masterminding the program. Again, we knew each other (and in full disclosure – my accountability partner is one of the 4) but we had not worked together. We all had very different businesses and, as it turned out, different but complementary skill sets.

What makes these relationships so valuable and why should we look for these types of relationships? What do we look for in these partnerships?

Whether It’s A One On One Partnership Or Group – There Are Commonalities To Both:

  1. Honesty. We give ourselves permission to speak the truth to each other. Sometimes it’s uplifting and celebrating victories, large and small. Sometimes it’s tough love and tough conversations. When we have an ask, we know we will get unvarnished and sometimes varied feedback and opinions.
  2. Commitment. We commit to a weekly schedule and make this time a priority. For both my accountability partner and my group, this time together is set aside for full undivided attention and presence.
  3. Confidentiality. We know that what is said in the call, stays in the call.
  4. Availability – We are available to discuss issues, problems, decisions to be made at any time. We can call on each other when we need each other and sometimes we just support and celebrate at a moment’s notice! Oftentimes, it’s just a group text sharing the win or just something funny that happened. We know each other is there and that’s the important thing.
  5. Collaboration. As we’ve grown personally and our businesses have grown, we’ve discovered that although we have very different businesses, we each have unique skills we offer freely to help each other. Oftentimes, we will bring marketing copy we are working on or something as simple as a talk title and help each other with the wording. Or, we may work through a program we are thinking of offering, or sometimes just brainstorm video topic ideas. Occasionally, it’s really big total business shift. Whether it’s one on one with my accountability partner or in my group, this input is valuable to me.

“We meditated, we contemplated and we collaborated.”

Our First Working Retreat:

Recently, our group took its first working retreat. We chose a beautiful location by a body of water with an outdoor seating area by a pool. Water was important to all of us and a requirement. Our mornings were spent in group work – the afternoons in separate pursuits. We meditated, we contemplated, and we collaborated. This worked so well for us, we plan on making it a twice a year “thing!”

The value of my partnerships can’t be underestimated. I strongly encourage each of you reading this to find and cultivate your own group or partnership. The benefits are so rewarding and your business will thank you!

About the Author:

Lori is America’s Midlife Marketing Maven helping GenXBoomers take the frustration and mystery out of marketing their businesses. She owns a digital marketing agency, Igniting Your Business and specializes in website design, branding and marketing strategy. She loves teaching Encore Entrepreneurs how to grow their businesses so they can concentrate on following THEIR passions and THEIR clients. Lori thinks there is nothing better than seeing someone’s eyes light up when they “get it” and then they take it and make money, easily and simply and without the stress they had before.

Lori will be launching her podcast, The Encore Entrepreneur Podcast this summer where she will be interviewing entrepreneurs and talking about how they market their businesses and the tools and techniques they use. She lives in Atlanta with her husband of almost 30 years and helps her 22-year-old entrepreneur son with his marketing. She is a sports fanatic and loves her Atlanta Braves baseball!