The professional football season has arrived! As the harbinger of autumn, students returning to school, and fall sports, football season also reminds me that business owners need to have a plan for their success.
When you see a coach on the sidelines with his play chart, it’s easy to think of that as a cheat sheet. In reality, it’s the result of hours of preparation and planning. The head coach and his assistants have assessed the talent of their players and considered their options for every possible scenario in a game situation. They know that if the offense faces 2nd down and 15 yards from their own 35 yard line, they can bring in four wide receivers and execute a 20-yard sideline pass to get the first down. If they fail to execute and it’s 3rd and 15, there’s another play – perhaps the same one – that is in the plan.
Yet it all comes down to the basics – the line needs to block. The quarterback needs a few seconds of time to spot and hit a receiver who’s going to be open.
Your business, to ensure growth and a positive bottom line, also needs a game plan. Sure, you can jot down some thoughts on a cocktail napkin, but planning for success is a team effort. Your front line employees must know their assignments, especially as they pertain to taking care of the consumers (opening the holes to make the sale). Your production team must be prepared to meet the demand and generate results. Your marketing crew needs to position your efforts to satisfy customers while putting profits on the bottom line (touchdowns – points scored).
Success in business, as in football, is a team effort. A big difference in business is that your opponent seldom changes, whereas in football you face a different team each week. It’s all in the preparation.
A parting thought: Remember that part of your business plan should include how you deal with adversity, negative press, or economic downturns. You may say you will let the chips fall where they may, but it makes more sense to know which ones you can pick up and which ones should be chalked up to a learning experience.
As an independent, third party consultant, bringing in a consultant such as Brand Irons can provide you with an emotion-free perspective that puts teeth in your business plan. it also gives you a consumer’s point-of-view about the perceptions of your business that can prove beneficial in dealing with adversities.