If you’re a woman running your own business, you will know it can get lonely at times. Yes, you can go to some lovely networking groups to promote your business, you can get advice from various business support groups and you can talk to family and friends who may vary in their level of support, interest and objectivity. But where can you go to focus on the growth of your business, with the support of a professional coach, for less than the price of a haircut and colour? The answer is The Bird Table.
I first found out about The Bird Table group in 2016 when a coaching friend of mine (Sian Rowsell) posted about the sessions she was running in Macclesfield. I loved the idea of a group of women meeting up once a month to focus on each other’s business growth, so I took the training and joined a fabulous community of coaches. Through this I have learnt so much and gained from the collective experience within the group. It has also helped me to grow my own coaching company; collaboration and generosity are powerful in business and The Bird Table has this in spades.
In early 2017, I started running my own Bird Table group. Each group runs for three sessions and is for no more than 6 women. This allows time for the group to gel and develop a good understanding of each other’s businesses. During the three sessions each group member works on their own business development and supports the other group members too.
In every group the women have a wide variety of business experience and this makes for a fascinating learning environment. As the facilitator for the group I ensure we keep on track, ask questions to deepen our thinking and help each other to set challenging targets to move our businesses forward. It isn’t about telling each other how to run a business but instead to act as an objective supporter who can help challenge you to achieve even more.
In every group I’ve run there has been a huge amount of support and collaboration between the group members and a lot of laughter too. It really is a fabulous way to work on your business instead of in your business. If motivation is sometimes a problem, it helps to know you have a team of supporters waiting to hear how you have got on each month. If ideas feel thin on the ground, the group can always help you to think originally and differently in a safe and confidential environment.
One of the previous group members said, “I wanted the accountability to keep focused on growing my business. I loved the experience and am already looking forward to the next term.” Another explained that she had “gained a lot from each session and made some very positive changes to [her] business as a result.”
August 2019 Update: If you are a woman running or launching a small business in the UK, and you are looking to join a Bird Table Group, please note that the central HQ is now closed.
Bird Table groups still run around the UK. I continue to run business development groups, email to find out when my next group is running.
Marguerite Farmer firstname.lastname@example.org