At Echo we have always believed in the importance of peer networks in supporting businesses to thrive. As a small business owner, it’s tough to do everything on your own, and the support, new perspectives and business opportunities that come from having a strong network can be invaluable.
In this blog post, Selsabil Amine explores the value of peer networks for businesses navigating challenge and change.
There are nearly 6 million small businesses in the UK, who make up 99% of the British business population. It’s worrying, then, to discover that SMEs across the country face the issue of not knowing where to look for trusted business related advice when they need it. A trusted professional peer network can help solve this issue, in 3 ways.
- Survive and thrive
Since 2020, the phrase “It’s a small world” has never been more relevant. Business tycoons, politicians, consumers, journalists, and investors alike are well aware that your world and the information you have access to is down to your network.
Developing and maintaining a trusted network that you can access virtually will allow you to engage with trusted business peers beyond the restrictions of the ‘new normal’ set by the coronavirus.
With the incentive to enhance online business presence, engaging with a virtual network offers the opportunity to collaborate with business partners flexibly. When once you may not have had the time to take a train ride to connect with someone new, you can click ‘Call’ instead.
- Two heads are better than one
When presented with a business challenge, the last thing you want is a maze of boisterous business gurus offering you advice for a fee. Annoyingly, that is the reality for many small businesses.
The Business Productivity Review published that many businesses found it difficult to not only compare support services but also trust the service to deliver the intended results. As businesses tend to seek support during times of pressure and change, the need for a trusted recommendation becomes crucial.
The Review showed that businesses who were able to navigate the maze of the business support market were more likely to use their existing professional network to find the best opportunities for them. They were able to access their contacts but also their contacts’ contacts to broaden their search.
- Act upon best practices
When facing a challenge, accessing advice on how to implement daily best practices can transform a business. Developing and maintaining a trusted professional network is a great way to learn and share best practices.
A peer network becomes increasingly important during a period of assessment of business costs and opportunities. This is because an assessment period defines how a business leader implements their response to the realisation that something in their business needs to change. Engaging with a trusted professional support network can help leaders identify the best ways to take their next steps and boost productivity.
Echo is working with London Business Hub to host a Peer Networks programme for creative sector SMEs.
You’ll join a small curated group of business peers for action-focused workshops and 1:1 support designed to help you build business resilience, hone your leadership skills and ensure your business thrives through Covid-19 and beyond.
If you are a London-based creative SME, established for at least 1 year with a turnover of £100k+, this might be just what you’re looking for.
Find out more and apply here: https://economyofhours.com/peernetworks