Peer Power Blog
This blog is about the power of peers in the IT space. It is designed as a place to share things I have learned the past 24+ years running a business as well as meeting the growing demands of business owners we experience leading the Heartland Tech Groups - a peer group network for IT business owners.
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The Return of HTG Online - Q2 2012
At our recent HTGALL Q4 meetings in Orlando we announced the return of HTG Online. This program existed from 2006 – 2008 as an option for smaller VARs and MSPs to participate in an HTG like experience without the cost of quarterly travel. We understand that for a small company, not only is the blocker to participation the out of pocket dollars, it is also the lost billing opportunities because you are out of the field. During our previous HTG Online program, Microsoft had underwritten a significant portion of the cost. When the economy tanked that year, they completely cut off funding and we ended the program after two years.
I personally have always had a heart for the small guy. In fact I was the only guy in my company for the first five years, and it took me another 5 to finally reach five employees. So I can relate to the challenges of running a small company with few resources. I also know that sitting in that spot the owner/entrepreneur needs to know a lot of things that they typically don’t. Most grow into business leadership as technical or sales experts that one day find themselves in charge, and wondering where to go to get help.
Fortunately there are a lot of great sources of information available. SMB Nation and all things related are fantastic. There are strong trade resources like MSP Mentor, ChannelPro and RCP. User groups are also a great place to learn, and an abundance of other conferences exist as well. But there is one missing link. Most small business owners initially choose to own a business for one major reason – they want to be the boss. They do what they want, when they want, how they want. They want to give the orders and make the decisions rather than the other way around.
That does create a major problem. The big issue for most small businesses is exactly that – they do what they want to. They often don’t do the things they should, or sometimes even the things they must. Occasionally it is because they don’t know what those things are. More often it is because they are not accountable and fail to execute. There is no one ‘squeezing the sponge’ so to speak and taking the knowledge out and putting it into action.
Enter HTG Online. We have a series of key content sessions that teach the basics that a small business owner needs to know in order to succeed. We place you in a non-competitive group with others like you to create a community where sharing can occur. We assign practical homework that puts learning into action. And between HTG and your peers, you get the most important piece, accountability that drives you to execution. That is the missing link for most – a lack of execution driven by accountability.
The program consists of monthly meetings online – 90 minutes in length. There is additional content to view in preparation. There is homework to complete. The online meetings are led by a facilitator who is further down the road than most – a veteran in the industry who has been there and done that. The time online is spent reviewing the content and homework, sharing how it fits in your company, comparing notes on key areas and best practices, and making sure everyone is being accountable and doing the right things.
As another bonus, you are able to opt in and join the HTG family at their two day Q2 Summit in early May in Dallas and attend breakout sessions and rub shoulders with the 270 members of the HTG face to face program. The only fee if you want to attend the Summit is the cost of participation in the event to cover the conference costs - $395 per person.
To participate in HTG Online – there is a monthly fee of $100 that must be paid by a credit card. You sign up for a one year participation at this link. The program will be ongoing through the years ahead, and you will be able to advance to new content and more learning’s each year. Fees are paid either $1200 at the start of participation or $650 per half year. Billing costs prohibit monthly billing, so we do annual or semi annual options. We are taking registrations currently as we prepare for our launch in Q2.
We encourage you to go online and fill out the application to join HTG Online. If you know a small business that would benefit, encourage them to apply. We all need to continually learn new skills and the most effective way to put them into practice is to do it with a group of peers taking the same journey. Don’t delay, get your application in today!
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