Why do SIMA members need peers to hold them accountable?

‘Sharing best practices with others leads to effective group learning, business growth, and establishes a relationship of friends you can count on to help you.’

By Martin Tirado
Growing up in the 80’s, I recall the catchy song “Talkin’ Baseball” by Terry Cashman. It felt right as when you’re a kid, during summertime, hanging out with friends, it doesn’t get much better than chatting about a sport you love. So now that we have businesses to grow, sales to make and strategies to develop, can we do the same with our snow and ice businesses? SIMA hopes so, and a great place to do this is with facilitated peer groups.

Peer groups are not a new concept. Yet, they have stood the test of time as a result of the value they bring. Some of these are:

  • Professional facilitation so the critical successes, challenges, and growth opportunities are brought out through thought-provoking questions and answers.
  • Like-minded participants, in the same industry, with the same goals who can share in a small group setting where all information remains confidential.
  • Sharing best practices with others leads to effective group learning, business growth, and establishes a relationship of friends you can count on to help you.

SIMA’s involvement in forming peer groups is to help you focus on your snow and ice business. Peer group participants can get into the details of all the things we love (and hate) about the business that other exterior maintenance service providers don’t bother with. Contract types, anti & de-icing methods, using liquids in different ways, finding a market niche, maintaining your best employees year round and finding seasonal employees, are just some of the different topics a SIMA peer group can work on. Another feature is that the topics are directed by you and your group. You decide the most critical topics to work on, help each other, then move onto other topics you select. The facilitator is there to help identify root cause issues, ask the more challenging questions and help the group find peer-developed solutions.

In 2013, SIMA conducted a membership satisfaction survey where 81% of respondents indicated that “interacting with professionals” was critical or important to their decision to join SIMA as a member. There are ways this interaction is created, such as at the Snow & Ice Symposium snack and chats, the SIMA Advisors program, and informally through contacts made at SIMA events in person and online. Participation in a peer group will take this interaction to a higher, more strategic level. 

Snow and ice peer groups are forming today. Let us know your willingness to participate by Friday, April 17 so that group formation and meetings can be achieved in 2015, just in time for your 2015-16 winter season. Here are ways you can take action on peer groups:

SIMA Action Alerts are designed to challenge the membership at large to take action and be informed. Please share any thoughts on Action Alerts with Brian@sima.org, or in the comment section below.