Power of ‘Peerworking’ overcomes isolation

An organisation dedicated to supporting Lancashire SMEs is using the power of ‘Peerworking’ to ensure small business owners aren’t left isolated and alone during the coronavirus crisis.

The Business Clinic Organisation (BCO), a not-for-profit Community Interest Company based in Preston, holds regular ‘Peerworking’ surgeries to help businesses share and learn from their experiences and to give them a platform to talk about their challenges and opportunities.

As small businesses battle with the challenges that the current pandemic is posing, it has created virtual sessions to allow people to keep connecting and communicating with each other and to continue to work on developing their businesses during this difficult time.

These free virtual peer-to-peer sessions, held once a week on alternate Wednesdays and Fridays, are already proving valuable to small business owners in the county.

BCO director Helen Livesey said: “Amidst the uncertainty we are all facing in business at the moment, we realised how important it is for business owners to have a safe space to keep talking.

“Using our virtual ‘Peerworking’ platform they can come together, talk about the real issues at hand and get real-time advice on decisions that will make a difference right now.

“Sharing the expertise, knowledge, ideas and experience of people across a range of businesses in a friendly, informal and confidential setting, Peerworking is a powerful tool that business owners can harness in these challenging times.

“And there’s no doubt that people need to come together to talk and help each other more than ever before.”

Sarah Cutts owns a translation service based in Penwortham. She said: “These virtual sessions provide me with the opportunity to gain valuable support on aspects of my business.

“It also helps to alleviate the feeling of isolation by still being able to interact with others and discuss the many challenges running a business throws at us.

“I always value the advice that I receive and really appreciate that The Business Clinic has continued with Peerworking sessions during these difficult times. They help keep my motivation going.”

Jo Naylor, who runs Jo Naylor Design Consultancy, based in Buckshaw Village, is also benefiting from the virtual sessions. She said: “The virtual sessions are fun and just as productive as being in the room. They are possibly more time-efficient in view of the time spent travelling.”

You can book your free guest slot at a virtual Peerworking surgery via The Business Clinic website or through Eventbrite.

Based at Lockside Office Park in Preston docklands, BCO was launched in 2013 and has supported many hundreds of small business owners over that time.