January 15, 2016
By Ed Hansen

ed hansenWe all want to improve our selves and our companies. Sometimes it requires us to take it to the next level. That is not always an easy thing to do.

Wouldn’t it be ideal to share your goals and concerns with someone who isn’t in direct competition with you? It is especially true if the connection is private, in order to feel comfortable about “opening up” about your next-level problem.

Like many of us, when I leave Congress, I say to myself, “Wow there are others just like me out there.”

The goal of the new program LO Connects is to “connect” companies with a partner who is going through the same issues. The partner you connect with will be well outside your geographic business area. You can be a mentor, a mentee, or a co-mentor. For instance, you may need help to grow your company and increase sales, receive information on how to hire, or how to sell your business. We all know there are a million questions.

Most franchise operators have a similar system. The franchise helps its franchisees with information, processes and support through the Connect program. LO will create the same support systems, without forming any franchises. Let’s take advantage of a mutually beneficial opportunity.

A friend of mine in the car dealership world explained this method is used by dealerships that have a sister company. They meet to share information. Over the years, the relationship grows. They use these opportunities to do everything from exchange employees via learning tours, such as sales reps going to learn the process for a week at the other location, or switch staff so they can learn what another shop does. Owners and senior managers will go to the other company to observe how the operation runs in an environment that is non-threatening, and safe from proprietary information.

There is something for everyone. If you have been in business for years, maybe you could be a mentor. Maybe you need help, so you could be a mentee to someone else, or maybe you just want to share information to strengthen your understanding of your weaknesses. It is another great benefit for companies to join LO.

How do I join? Simply fill out the form, found at gfl.me/h2JT, and we’ll help get you into a partnership. Then select someone who fits what you are looking for.  We will be at Congress, where you will be able to ask questions and learn more about potential partnerships. This is an opportunity that costs you nothing. There are neither meeting costs nor facilitators. You will get as much as you mutually want to put in, and you end up growing together.

You may contact me at 613-260-8175 with any questions, or I will simply help guide you.

Ed Hansen is president of Hansen Lawn and Garden in Ottawa, and past Ottawa Chapter president.