In one of her first Forum meetings in 2006, Dianne Savastano shared her struggles writing content for her new firm’s website.
“What the [heck] makes you think you can write for a website?,” one of her peers asked.
Savastano, founder and president of Healthassist in Manchester-by-the-Sea, a firm that advises consumers on navigating the healthcare system, admitted that writing wasn’t her strong suit. Her peer then suggested that Savastano hire a professional writer—and gave her three top candidates.
“I was taken aback at first,” Savastano says. “She cut to the chase. But she was right. I hired one of the people she recommended, and I was very happy with the result.”
Savastano operates the smallest business among her Forum group. She views her peers as “my executive team,” and she discusses a range of business issues with them.
When exploring whether to enter into a strategic alliance with a business development and marketing firm, Savastano analyzed pros and cons with input from her Forum. Her peers urged her to hire an attorney to protect her interests—and offered a referral.
“I was pleased with the attorney they recommended and this attorney helped me negotiate a contractual relationship with this firm,” Savastano says
Within six months, however, the relationship did not provide the anticipated benefit. Because her Forum group had already urged Savastano to address the possible negatives that could unfold, she was ready to manage a deteriorating situation.
“Because my Forum prepared me going in, it saved me a lot of time, angst and money,” she says. “I was able to sever the relationship cleanly and professionally.”