Interested in joining a United Servicers Association peer group in your area? Want to start one of your own?
Awesome! Submit your info to the USA office here.
WHAT IS A PEER GROUP?
By Walt Dews
A peer group is a gathering of like-minded business people or entrepreneurs generally not in competing markets that gather periodically to help one another run their respective businesses. In these meetings, it is common for one member to turn to his peers for advice or opinion on a certain issue he might be experiencing in his business. Peer groups will often collaborate on a group project such as a marketing campaign and then share in the cost of such development. Peer groups generally meet on neutral ground on a regularly scheduled basis.
What a Peer Group is NOT
- An exclusive club (Except for limitations on size)
- A labor union
- A social club
HOW DOES A PEER GROUP OPERATE?
An appliance repair peer group is formed when a group of United Servicers Assoication members decide that they have a common vision for their businesses. This may include businesses seeking growth, small operations looking to keep busy, or larger companies trying to get a handle on operations.
Common Factors for Establishing a Peer Group
- White Goods Only
- Service Only
- Principals Only
- Non-competitive markets
- Limited in size to a number small enough for all to participate and yet
have sufficient numbers for each meeting with inevitable attrition.
- Meets on a regular basis
- Hub City
- Rotating Locations
- Usually one meeting in conjunction with ASTI
- Rotating leader each meeting
- Designated leader for all meetings.
- Meeting Agendas
- All members can suggest agenda items.
- Some agenda items will come from previous meetings.
- Detailed structure is up to the individual group.
A very high degree of CONFIDENCE
- What is shared within a Peer Group does not go outside the group?
- Members must be assured that they can share without reservation.
- Takes time to build this kind of trust within any group.
POSSIBLE CONTENT OF A TYPICAL PEER GROUP MEETING
- Update on what is happening in each business since last meeting.
- Talk about successful projects and things that have worked well.
- What continues to be the greatest frustrations and biggest challenges
- Accountability for goals set at previous meetings.
- Comparison of P & L percentages / Standardized P&L Format (COA)
- Because of various company sizes comparing dollars is not helpful
- Example: How much do we each spend on yellow page advertising as a percentage of our sales? Who is getting the best return on that investment? What kind of program or strategy do you employ? What does your competition do in the same books?