Future Together - Local In-Person Peer Groups

Western Wisconsin Business Owner Roundtable Group
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Mailing Address

1428 Lake Road
Altoona WI 54720

Who qualifies?

Business Owners Wearing All The Hats

Have you been in business for at least two years and seen ongoing growth? Do you have at least $500k in annual revenue but not more than $10M? Join your fellow business owners to share experiences, discuss issues and solve problems through a Future Together Business Owner Roundtable Group!


Problem Solving – Experience Sharing – Decision Making

Roundtable groups for business owners have been shown to accelerate business growth and serve as a source of support for small business owners.  Check out these case studies from PeerSpectives peer group members to learn more.

Wisconsin landscape

Western WI Group

No competitors, No customers, No selling – Just Problem Solving!

The current members of the Western WI group come from all industries and business types, which can help give a unique perspective to issues each owner is addressing.  Some of the top issues that get discussed in this group include hiring, firing, succession planning, financial planning, difficult customers, marketing, and more.  Longer range planning is also covered at these monthly meetings, with some strategy and goal-setting sessions, along with discussion of marketing planning and time management.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Future Together Business Owner Roundtable Group?

Future Together Groups are groups of 6-10 business owners who meet once a month in a confidential environment to discuss business issues using a structured format with a professional facilitator, with an emphasis on sharing experiences, encouraging accountability and developing connections with the group members.

Who qualifies to be in a group?

Future Together Business Owner Roundtable Groups work best if the group members are in a similar stage of business growth, as the issues encountered tend to be similar, regardless of industry.  Business owners should have been in business for at least two years, and bring in at least $500k in annual revenue (up to about $10M).  No competitors or referral sources can be in the same group, so if there is already someone in the group that you work with or compete against, you cannot join that group.

How does it work?

Group members meet once a month for about half a day, following the PeerSpectives Roundtable System(TM) that emphasizes confidentiality and honest communication among members. Members are from non-competing, non-referring businesses and focus on experience sharing to aid in executive problem solving. The licensed facilitator keeps the group on schedule, making sure all discussions are relevant and no one person dominates the discussion.

What are the benefits?

This roundtable process has proven to be successful in helping business owners find a way to discuss sensitive issues about work with peers rather than employees or family members. Participants gain insight through experience sharing that helps address problems and identify opportunities. The group members hold each other accountable when making difficult decisions, but ease the process by emphasizing sharing similar experiences and not giving advice. Group members develop trusted relationships to share both business and personal issues. 

How is this different from a networking group? Or a Mastermind? Or an Executive Coach?

This is NOT a networking group.  The purpose of these groups is to create a confidential environment where business owners feel free to share financial troubles, personnel problems, concerns about growing too fast or too slow, and other business challenges. A group should consist of businesses that do NOT want to do business together, as members would feel uncomfortable sharing their challenges in front of potential customers or vendors. Doing business together is strongly discouraged, and competitors are not allowed.

A Future Together group is certainly more similar to a Mastermind Group than to a Networking Group, as both Future Together and Mastermind groups focus on regular peer-to-peer conversations about work. Some Mastermind groups are led by a facilitator and some are not. A Future Together Group is always facilitator-led and follows the proven PeerSpectives Roundtable System(TM) agenda to ensure confidentiality, experience sharing and balanced discussion. Groups tend to be a bit larger than Mastermind groups, averaging 8-10 rather than 3-5 members.

Typically, an executive coach works one-on-one with executives to help advance their professional careers. The relationship is more uneven, rather than peer-focused. Future Together groups benefit greatly from the confidential, experience-sharing process among peers. Members are welcome to seek out executive coaching for themselves, separate from the Future Together group if they desire.

How do the discussions stay confidential?

Confidentiality of the Future Together discussions is the most important aspect of the entire process. Members must feel completely comfortable sharing very sensitive issues about their financial situation, personnel issues, personal health and other components that factor into running the business. The facilitator and members all sign a confidentiality agreement. Sponsors, hosts, visitors and potential members are not permitted to sit in for the discussion. The conference room should ideally not be visible to others. All written materials used for discussion during the meeting are destroyed after the meeting. We find that the issues being discussed in the group get more and more sensitive and emotionally charged as the group gets more and more comfortable with each other and the process.

Will any competitors be in the group with me?

No. All members have the right to veto any potential new members, and no groups will be put together without the express agreement of each member to be in the group with the others. We do not allow competitors, customers or vendors to be in the same group. Ideally, every member will be from a different industry, as the diversity of the group enhances the conversation.

Can I sit in on a group before I decide to join?

Yes and no. An existing group will decide if they want to accept a particular new group member. Then that potential new group member can meet with the group BEFORE they begin the formal peer group roundtable meeting format. But they cannot listen in to the actual meeting, as it is only for members. From time to time, ‘mock’ groups will be held to explain the process, without revealing any of the actual business problems of the group members, using case study examples.

If you are interested in joining the Western Wisconsin Future Together Group, click on the link to the left, or contact Kelly directly at 715-830-8244 or kelly@learnstartgrow.com.  This group is limited to 10 members, and so there may not be an opening available right now, depending on the current size of the group.  If there are openings, you can request to come visit a portion of the meeting to meet the current members and determine if the group would be a good fit for you, and vice versa.  Reach out to learn more.