networking community

Building the Community You Never Knew You Needed

Written By: Debbie Klintworth, D3S Service
Article originally published in The Retail Observer

They always say, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” If I had known then what I know now, would things be different?

If I’d had someone to talk through the struggles of starting and growing a business, I might have traveled an easier road.

Looking back at the growth of our business, I remember lots of struggles, some successes, and so much learning. At first, I thought, “No one is going to tell me how to run my business!” I still don’t feel that someone will tell me how to run my business better. But by attending conferences such as ASTI (Annual Service Training Institute) and joining a group and hearing what others have done and the mistakes they’ve made and the successes they’ve enjoyed, they’ve helped me run my business.

If you could have a wise mentor, would you want one? Would you invest the time to help your company grow and succeed? Have you thought about how valuable it would be to hear how others have overcome the situations you’re in right now?

At this year’s ASTI, United Appliance Servicers Association (UASA) announced a new benefit for its members, The Service Networking Community. The new group/community is a place where smaller groups doing business at the same level can meet with other owners who’ve been there and done that – like-minded, similar-sized companies, but not your competitors, so you’ll feel comfortable sharing who you are, your best practices, what’s happening in your area, what’s worked for you and what you’re working on.

This is your community, and it will be whatever your group wants it to be, as intense and in-depth or as casual and easygoing as the group decides. It will be a safe space to get answers to questions you might not feel comfortable asking in a public setting such as social media, ChatUSA, the Laundry Room or a virtual Happy Hour. If you have questions about finances, repairs or hiring your first technician, warranty claims, COD calls, etc., this is a place where you can bounce ideas off each other, discuss best practices, get fresh ideas and more. You’ll be able to learn what others in your group have done, what’s worked for each of you and what hasn’t,

what paths might not be working, and undiscovered opportunities to turn it around with help from the group.

In business it’s hard to find this kind of peer support. Whether we’re big or small, we all face the same issues. We must hire, fire, teach and train technicians, make money, lose money, chase money; and most important, we must run our business. Through it all, there’s nothing better than having a community of peers who are going through the same things you are – someone you can bounce ideas off of, vent to, go through things with, discuss business issues with and just laugh with when you need it. You’ll not only develop a relationship with the community, you’ll develop genuine friendships and a support network. These people will make you better, you’ll make them better, they’ll encourage you and you’ll encourage them. Not only will they make your business better, they’ll make you better professionally and personally.

While you will need to commit to taking time weekly or monthly to dedicate to your business, away from your business, it will be so worth it. The text group, email group and Zoom calls will be very beneficial, but nothing can compare to taking face-to-face time to think about your business and share ideas and build relationships. There’s nothing like dedicated time away with others who share your issues, to restart yourself, your ideas, and solve your issues.

It’s a shame not to use more of the benefits provided by United Appliance Servicers Association (UASA). Both groups, the Peer Groups and the Service Networking Community, are UASA benefits designed specifically for business owners. Please visit UnitedServicers.com to review all of the UASA benefits available to you.

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