Monday, June 17, 2024

Q. So what is a roundtable?
A. The overly used term "roundtable" is used to describe almost any group of business people who gather for almost any reason. A true roundtable functions more like a board of directors than just information exchange. At the American Association of Roundtables our groups are non-competing, like-minded business owners/managers who meet twice a year to assist each other in improving their businesses.

Q. So do you allow competitors in the same roundtable group?
A. No. It is important that members in a roundtable not compete so that an individual's specific issues can be dealt with in depth.

Q. What are best practices roundtables?
A. A group of non-competing businesses comparing their results against other roundtable members as well as other data available.

Q. What does a roundtable meeting look like?
A. Well sometimes the table is square. We meet for 1½ to 2 days, usually near a member's business to allow us to see how other businesses are operated. Everyone is prepared to discuss the 7 - 10 topics selected by the members at the last meeting. We compare three years of financial data with one another. Then we select the location, date, and agenda for the next meeting. Then we go home.

Q. It sounds expensive in time and money. How do I know I will get my money's worth?
A. Members tell us joining a roundtable is one of the best business decisions they have ever made. Most wish they had joined sooner.

Q. My numbers aren't great; will I be embarrassed?
A. No. Many of the members were underperforming before joining a roundtable. The groups are supportive and will give you wise advice on how to fix your problem.

Q. I'm new to the industry. I'm afraid I can't contribute to the group.
A. Everyone was new to the industry at one time plus outside perspectives are very valuable.

Q. Can I sit in on a meeting before I decide to join?
A. No. All meetings are closed meetings for members and sponsoring associations. Since all members are privately held businesses, we take protecting their privacy very serious. There are ways for you to determine if membership is right for your company. We will discuss in detail after you make application.

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