How an accountability group can help your small business succeed

It’s one of those tricky balancing acts most business owners struggle with – how to spend as much time on their business as in their business.

accountability group - portrait of multiracial business people meetingAn accountability group can help you plan for future growth and set goals that move your business forward. Most importantly, checking in with other people on a regular basis to report on your progress makes it much more likely you’ll take action and get things done.

Whether you decide to join a group locally or meet over the internet, sign up for a paid group or set one up yourself, the key to success with an accountability group is consistency.

Learn more about how to organize an accountability group and make yours a success.

Best practices for accountability groups

It’s a good strategy to keep your group small – three to six members at most. A small group means you can keep your meetings short and still have time for everyone to check in. It also means there are fewer schedules to accommodate when setting up meetings.

These 8 tips will help you set up an effective group:

  • Search your network to find members who will actively participate. Look to local business meet ups, social media groups, and your contacts from networking events, conferences, etc.
  • Members don’t need to come from the same industry or be in exactly the same place in their business. However it’s important everyone is committed, like-minded, supportive, and focused on problem solving.
  • Schedule regular meetings. Meeting twice a month can work well for accountability groups. Every two weeks gives members enough time to accomplish their goals. It’s often enough to stay motivated but not so often it’s tough for members to make time for.
  • Build time in the agenda for everyone to share progress and bring new ideas or challenges to the table for discussion and feedback.
  • Be supportive and flexible. If a member doesn’t achieve his or her goal, help them set a new or revised goal for next time.
  • After sharing progress, let these two questions guide the meeting each week: “What is the most important goal for my business right now?” and “What steps will I take to achieve it?”
  • Ask how you can help other members. Sometimes we all need a sounding board, other times advice; sometimes we don’t know what we need until someone jumps in and offers!
  • If members aren’t able to meet, stay accountable to each other. You can share progress by email to avoid missing a meeting and losing momentum.

Final thoughts

Keeping your business plan up to date can help you stay focused on your big picture goals, and set strategies that tie in with your overarching plans. If it’s been a while since you’ve updated your business plan (or you don’t have one), these free templates can help.

If you find it difficult to set smart goals, try starting with the end result and work backwards. This article on backward goalsetting can help you break each goal down into more manageable parts.

They say there’s an app for everything – why not an app to help set goals that get results? Try to help you keep track of the goals you set for your business—and any other area of your life.