Originally written by Partner Content on Small Business

There has never been a more important time to invest in the future of your business by working with people who know business best. Other business leaders.

Peer Networks is bringing together business leaders to work collaboratively to find solutions to common problems and develop opportunities.

Whether an SME business is facing challenges around product development, HR, tech, finance or navigating through the third national lockdown or the UK’s exit from the EU, peer support can give business owners the opportunity to share these issues in a collaborative environment often leading to high-impactful tangible solutions that reflect on valuable feedback from their peers.

This is what business owners have to say about Peer Networks:

Aspen Peer Networks in Oxfordshire is nearly halfway through the sessions.

One business owner said: “What I found interesting is how people have been coping over the last nine months and the creative and resilience people have shown has been amazing.”

This was echoed by another participant, who said: “What I found for my own personal development is that it helped me in listening to the whole problem rather than jumping to a solution, which is usually what my management style has been.

“So, having that learning and more lengthy process to really analyse a problem is helping me as a manager as well as my own decisions.”

Lauren Bailey-Rhodes, operations director at Transform Lives Company, a Liverpool-based social enterprise specialising in employment and wellbeing, joined Peer Networks to help her business grow.

She said: “I decided to join because it seemed the best fit for me and TLC now because our biggest challenge is getting the word out there and growing our business in the corporate sector.

“As soon as I spoke to our facilitator Phil, I knew this was going to be a really good experience. The first session was great with a good mix of people who are going to bring so many different things to the group and already people are starting to help each other out.”

Paul Wakefield, owner of Freedom Book Publishing based in Buckinghamshire, is urging businesses to get involved after signing up to it recently.

He said: “I didn’t know what to expect but I have been really impressed. There’s a fantastic group of people that I am involved with. The process to sign up to get involved was easy.

“I’ve been able to get the word out about my business, get feedback on my business and I’ve been able to learn from other people as well as help and support others. I highly recommend Peer Networks – it’s been fantastic and it’s 100 per cent free.”

Joe Campbell is director of Culture City, a Merseyside high-end creative and corporate film production and music management company.

He said: “I decided to choose Peer Networks because I thought it was a really good opportunity to speak to other businesses about the problems we have encountered, how we got over them, what’s next for our business and ways we can work with other people in the future.

“It’s also been interesting to find out about the problems other people have encountered during lockdown and it’s been great to share stories and ways we have overcome those problems as well.

“One of the great things that happened after our first session is that I spoke to one of the businesses and from that conversation it looks like we will be doing some work with the company and we would never have known about them if it wasn’t for Peer Networks.”

Find out more

Peer Networks, a free programme taking place across England, has been developed to create a trusted powerful support network for SMEs to work together so they can build resilience and strengthen their business and improve its overall performance.

Backed by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Peer Networks is being delivered locally by the network of Growth Hubs and supported by their respective Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).

Peer Networks is open to small to medium-sized business in England.

You can complete the Enquiry Form in less than 3 minutes with the programme open to new participants until January 31, with sessions running until March 31 2021.

To make an enquiry visit https://www.peernetworks.co.uk/.

Further reading

Your guide to Peer Networks

How peer support is helping me and my business

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