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Profit Power: Peer groups are networking made simple

August 16, 2022 -  By

We are all familiar with the phrase peer pressure. In many situations, it has taken on a negative association.

(Photo: gustavofrazao / iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

(Photo: gustavofrazao / iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

But in my experience, it has a very positive meaning. With the right kind of peer support (i.e. pressure), you can grow your business quickly and efficiently.

This is the reason I have become such a big proponent of peer groups over the past 25 years. It is the simplest and most direct form of networking and it is the fastest way to grow your contacts, knowledge and results.

A short history of peer groups 

A forerunner to peer groups is the mastermind concept. It was made famous in the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. He spoke of individuals and professionals getting together to foster each other’s thinking and planning, whether they owned a business or worked in one. 

After World War II, the idea of a structured peer group became part of our mainstream — for example, among automobile dealers. Their groups were called “Dealer 20.” They helped the auto industry for years. 

Structured peer group meetings have become an accepted method for accelerated learning, business problem solving and sharing at the highest level.

Not all groups are the same

The quality of the members is paramount to the success of the group. 

You need members willing to be accountable and deal with their issues openly in a private setting. This requires having members who can put their egos aside and be committed to the group and the process. 

Your best board of advisors 

A strong group will help you think through topical issues you face (HR, strategy, key hiring, acquisitions, recruiting, people issues, etc.). The best members will share their proven resources and give honest feedback. They will act as a Board of Advisors. 

More important, members will remember your issues over time and will hold you accountable for the execution of your plans. You will find yourself talking to members between meetings, and the accountability increases as you get to know them better.

In some cases, you will establish relationships that will outlast your participation in the group itself. 

Better and Best Practices 

The side benefit of participating in a peer group is that it raises each member’s leadership abilities — following the advice of Tom Peters, who states, “Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.” 

To learn more about landscape peer groups contact the author visit:

As Blair Walton, owner of Element Outdoor Living in North Carolina says, “Working with (Jeffrey’s) peer group has provided me with financial benchmarking and operational feedback from other leaders he has cultivated. This has given me the visibility and awareness that we are heading in the right direction.”

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Jeffrey Scott

About the Author:

Jeffrey Scott, MBA, author, specializes in growth and profit maximization in the Green Industry. His expertise is rooted in his personal success, growing his own company into a $10 million enterprise. Now, he facilitates the Leader’s Edge peer group for landscape business owners—members achieve a 27 percent profit increase in their first year. To learn more visit

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