Who should join Beyond Business Groups?

Beyond Business Groups are for small businesses, particularly those who are microbusinesses, home-based, solopreneurs or freelancers. It’s for those of you who don’t have colleagues and want face-to-face/virtual social interaction, other people to bounce ideas off, and to discuss business issues and opportunities with. And importantly, for those of you who want to learn and take action to improve your business.

How many people do you need to create a group?

We suggest the optimum size for a group is four to six people (to fit around a dinner table). However, as few as three people works well, or up to eight. Larger groups may need to allow more time than the suggested two hours.

How do the groups work?

You find your like-minded, local people to form a group. You then create a group by completing our online form, and each member is emailed with registration details and a link to officially join.

We set the topics, curate the materials and provide guidelines for discussion and planning action. On the first day of every month we will email you to advise that the latest module is available.

You work through each module and read, watch or listen to the resources you choose to.

You meet with your group to discuss, share, have fun and determine actions to take to improve your business. Then repeat!

What are the Module topics?

The Modules are designed as an integrated program that build on each other as you progress through the year (we don’t provide a module for January because people tend to be holidaying and enjoying summer). The topics are:

  1. Know your ‘why’ and yourself
  2. Market research and data
  3. Target market
  4. Branding and marketing overview
  5. Building your brand
  6. Marketing: product and price
  7. Marketing: place and promotion
  8. Customer service and sales
  9. Systems and processes
  10. Business growth and improvement strategies
  11. Financial management

When do I get the Modules?

On the first day of each month (excluding January) your new module will be available to access in the membership portal. We’ll email you to let you know it has landed.

When do the groups meet?

Your group decides when it will meet each month (excluding January – take some time instead for summery fun). Module notifications will arrive in your inbox on the first day of each month, so we suggest meeting later in the month to allow plenty of time to read, listen, watch and learn.

We recommend you make a regular day and time to meet, for example, the last Thursday of the month at 10am.

Where do the groups meet?

Together with your group you decide where to meet. You could alternate meetings at your homes, meet at a local library or community centre, or perhaps a café or bar with a quiet corner or separate room. You might like to meet virtually if your group spans towns/regions/states! You can meet day or night. Whatever works for your members.

How long do the groups meet for?

We suggest groups of up to six meet for two hours. Groups of seven or eight may need longer. But the amount of time you spend is really up to your group.

What do I do before my group meets?

Once you have the learning materials, you read through the module information and undertake any activities. There will be links to further information on the topic, so you can decide what other materials you want to read, listen to or watch.

We’ll let you know how long an article will take to read, and how long a podcast or video is so you can allocate appropriate time. With planning you can maximise your learning time. For example, you can listen to audiobooks or podcasts in the car, or while you’re out walking if you download them onto your phone. You can read a blog post or watch a video (using headphones!) while waiting at the dentist, in the car at school pick up, or on the train.

Take notes if you like. Write down tips, or information you want to explore further. We want you to consider opportunities and challenges for your business, and questions you want to put to your group.

Then when you meet with the group you can share your ideas, what you’ve learned and determine how you can apply the learning to improve your business.

What happens at the group meetings?

In the meetings you discuss the topic (over coffee, beer or wine!), share your perspectives, ideas, experiences, challenges and expertise, and plan short and long-term actions you can take to improve your business. We’ll provide you with an agenda you can use to guide discussion and maximise your time together. And an action plan sheet to help you with planning.

What’s the best mix of people for a group?

There is no right or wrong mix for a group. You can have people from the same industry or with similar types of businesses, or a have people with a mix of business types and expertise. You decide what works for you.

Can we add members to our group?

In an ideal world all members of your group would start together and be set to go when you create your group. However, if you have a member or two to add in the first couple of months, and they are happy to play catch up, then just get in touch with us via the other enquiries form on our contact page and we can enrol them and add them to your group. They will be required to pay the full membership fee as they will have full access to all the modules, planning tools and templates.

And of course group membership can change annually, with new members starting or existing members deciding not to continue.