By Mick Dickinson, founder at BuzzedUp
Phil Terrett has long-standing beef about the support and training people get for their business. It stems from a 2002 meeting with a Welsh Assembly Government business mentor. At the end of the hour-long session it was clear Phil knew more about setting up a new enterprise then the mentor.
“The coaches and mentors I met seemed to fall into two categories. Either they were older, and had some wisdom, but lacked technical and up-to-date knowledge; or they were 22, fresh out of college, and recently trained in how to be a business coach.
“I felt that people like me â€” from a corporate background and now starting their own business â€” were not getting the best support. It struck me there was a gap in the market for practical one-to-one business support from people who have been there and done it (and are still doing it).”
Phil has launched The Growth Circle www.thegrowthcircle.com, a collaboration of mature, business experts who are all technically advanced: specialists in their fields. This group of entrepreneurs all make a good living at what they do: indeed that is one of the qualifying criteria for The Growth Circle.
The collaboration is a talented group made up of individuals with specific expertise. The current crop of ‘Ninjas’ includes:
- A networking coach
- A brand expert
- A leading SEO star and copywriter
- A business referral specialist
- A top sales pipeline coach
- A highly respected social media trainer.
How does it work?
The Growth Circle puts on Media Summits (‘taster’ days) for 70-odd interested people. Delegates get to meet and hear from seven or eight entertaining speakers (the Ninjas) who share specific, practical advice on their topic. Each speaker offers five actionable ideas that business owners can implement the next day.
“Delegates come away from the Media Summit with up to 40 key things that could and should be taking back to their business. To make it manageable we agree just the top five actions. These are noted and we remind everyone a couple of days after each event.”
Businesspeople who attend are invited onto a 12-month support programme. Each month this mastermind group meets and gets close access to a circle of business experts and the other entrepreneurs. The days are then divided into three.
During the first third of the day one of the ninjas takes an in-depth masterclass on their subject. It’s a chance to learn tips and tactics direct from a top specialist.
The second part of the day sees one-to-one sessions with two or three ninjas present to deal with any project or problem that people have in their business. Often this is something a business owner is blocked on in some way.
The last third of the day is a proper mastermind group where everyone has 20 minutes to talk about an issue with their peers. The other business people in the room bring their own skills and expertise to the table, moderated by the Ninjas.
The Growth Circle aims to provide an environment where people share and receive not just answers to their business questions but contacts, advice and camaraderie.
“This is not one of those daft get rich quick schemes. We do NOT say: ‘do this, that and the other in the correct order and you’ll be a millionaire.’
“Those schemes are a con. In business it’s about having a kitbag of tools that you can grab whenever you need them. That’s what we have developed: a life support system for small- and medium-sized business.”
The Growth Circle is proving a winning formula with small and medium sized business. Its team of Ninjas is now expanding to a squad â€” testament to its collaborative and open approach to business support.