Dave Nash’s disciples are seasoned professionals in their fields. They’re lawyers, accountants, financiers, teachers, consultants, sales experts and communicators.
As Nash sees it, if their expertise could be shared with other businesses, the Rhode Island economy would be much better off.
He calls sharing the way of the future.
“This is the sharing economy we’re hearing so much about,” Nash said Tuesday to members of Prophet Share, Inc. Nash said the days of the single star business success no longer works and “that by working together collaboratively we have a galaxy of stars.”
Nash has practiced what he preaches for a long time.
The Warwick business community perhaps best knows him from his days with the Warwick Chamber of Commerce, now the Central Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce. More than two decades ago, the Warwick Chamber didn’t have an office of its own and was contracting for administrative services from the Greater Providence Chamber. Nash saw the potential for an independent chamber and offered to grow membership under a no risk agreement with the board. He didn’t get paid unless the chamber had the money. The chamber flourished and Nash spearheaded the drive to purchase the current chamber offices in Apponaug.
Almost three years ago, he started the Rhode Island Small Business Recovery Program that has provided peer-to-peer training to more than 7,000 business owners and entrepreneurs for no fees.
On Tuesday, from offices at 875 Centerville Road that are used as a seminar center, Nash announced the transformation of the recovery program into Prophet Share.
The key to Prophet Share is its members and its ability to reach thousands of businesses using chamber membership lists, e-mails and the Internet. At this point, 24 Prophet Share members pay $100 a month. In exchange, they get to network among each other, and they are called upon to run free seminars themselves. Seminars are frequent and varied. Nine seminars are planned from Sept. 3 to Sept 19. Topics range from, “Seven main reasons to use video on your website” to “33 keys to increasing sales” and “How to start or run a profitable small business” to “Business continuity and disaster recovery planning.”
Peter Cotton, president of Best Sales Talent, is one of Prophet Share’s 24 members.
Cotton became involved after attending a free seminar, “How to cut your cell phone bill in half.” While he hasn’t had the time to use all the suggestions to reduce his phone costs, he’s latched on to the idea of sharing his expertise with other businesses for free.
He said many business owners don’t train to interview and “fly by the seat of their pants” when hiring personnel. On the other hand, job seekers are frequently well trained in what to say and how to make a positive impression. As Cotton sees it, sharing his interviewing techniques will make for more successful businesses and, in the process, bring him paying clients.
Rather than go-getters, which they are, Nash calls members “go-givers.” He said, “Members share their knowledge and abilities to build successes by giving to others.”
He notes that talented business owners and trainers needn’t own or rent classroom and conference space. The Centerville Seminar Center can sit 42 people, has Internet access for attendees, plus a kitchen facility.
“It is essential that the business community provide the long-term collaborative leadership needed to rebuild the Rhode Island economy,” Nash says in a release. “Prophet Share’s peer-to-peer training program is an important component to private sector leadership.”
Nash, who is looking to add members to Prophet Share, can be reached at 447-8000. The website is www.prophetshareri.com.