Power in Peers
A group composed of 15 contractors from 7 different businesses all over the country has been a monumental factor in W.E. Bowman Construction Inc.’s business development. From Georgia to Arizona, New York to South Carolina, Wisconsin to Virginia, Tennessee to Texas, these business owners come together to make all of their businesses more efficient and meaningful. Since joining in 2006, Ed and WEBC have been highly involved.
“We are in a common industry and we are going to share best practices”.
Each year two meetings are held in the respective home state of one of the businesses. A few days in the hometown of a business provides time to interview employees, survey job sites, visit the business office, and hear a presentation on the state of the company. Because of the diversity of states, these construction companies are far enough away so they do not compete, but in the perfect place to share recommendations and tips in order to help others in the group grow.
“We are able to learn from each other...people operate in very different ways”
W.E. Bowman Construction Inc. hosted this group of business owners and their spouses last fall.
All members have equal leadership in the peer group and take seriously the relationships they form as well as the business allies they can call upon. Interactions are not limited to the twice annually meetings that are held. Each business also presents quarterly updates on their progress. Events and organizations like this peer group provides time and space for socializing with fellow contractors, auditing the businesses, and collectively learning about business principles such as finance, safety, business development, metrics, scheduling, HR and software.
This group has influenced the business culture of W.E. Bowman Construction Inc. through providing construction ownership comradery, insight into different facets of construction, and additional accountability. This is a space where any team member from any of the companies can ask the advice of another.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the group has not been able to meet in-person since last fall, but as per usual, communication is fluid between members. Zoom meetings have been a temporary substitute for the two planned in-person meetings and Zoom has proved useful among the members for keeping up with each other in these strange times. Conversations about how to do business during a pandemic have been the recent highlight of discussion among the members. Most importantly “we care about each other,” says Ed Bowman. It is “one of the most valuable things I have done in business."