Curt Bear, founder of LoCo Think Tank (Local Community Think Tank) has four Think Tank groups meeting in Fort Collins. Curt will be starting a new Loveland group in February 2018. This new group will be meeting at the Loveland Business Development Center located in the Loveland Chamber of Commerce building.
If you haven’t heard about LoCo Think Tank, it is a small business peer advisory group model, designed to deliver a high value experience without a big financial commitment. Curt’s motivation in starting LoCo Think Tank was to transform himself from banker to restauranteur, and he invited some of his smartest and favorite small business friends to join him in the journey. When his restaurant concept failed to come together, Curt transitioned instead into a food trailer catering business and then into a career with Thrivent Financial over the past four years.
Curt noticed, in his banking career, that business owners who had peer advisory in their lives often performed better; in business and in life. He could see they made better decisions, were more accountable, and had stronger business performance.
Curt had plenty of business contacts to start a self-managed peer group, but had no interest in adding more to his plate. As fate would have it, he did have a friend who’d previously been a small business owner and later a peer group facilitator and was willing to manage a group. In that fateful conversation, a new business model was born!
LoCo Think Tank recruits highly successful former small business owners as subcontractors to manage the groups – the LoCo Facilitators. These individuals have adequate financial resources to be retired, but seek opportunities to add back value in the community. After careers at the top of a small business enterprise, they are purpose-driven.
Through networking, word-of-mouth, and website, LoCo attracts candidates and helps them get acquainted with one another. In these meetings, led by a facilitator, members find a safe place – a place to share their challenges and successes, their special talents, fears and experiences as they navigate their business journey.
At its’ core, peer advisory is about gaining perspective. LoCo Facilitators manage monthly half-day meetings around issue processing, goal setting, and accountability. The value of joining this type of group is, your peers and a facilitator hold you accountable to manage the critical areas to grow your business. It is easy to get side-tracked in non-essential business tasks that don’t advance your business.
LoCo is a select group of business owners (Thinkers) – they are willing to be transparent and vulnerable. They are open to changing habits to go from good to great, or from surviving to thriving! Most LoCo members have between 5 and 25 employees and are growing and succeeding already.
Curt has been developing his Thank Tank groups on a part time basis, but recently opted to go full-time due to the regional need for the groups. Look for new groups forming in more new markets throughout 2018 (Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs, Greeley, Cheyenne, and Longmont). If you know someone locally or in these other markets who might want to be a Thinker or a LoCo Facilitator, have them contact Curt Bear at: firstname.lastname@example.org.