Are You Ready for Some Football?
We just made it through the first weekend of the new football season, so how did your favorite team do? If the team you were rooting for won, congrats! If they did not win, don’t lose hope, it’s very early.
After watching a game (or three) we were stuck at several similarities between football and running a successful local business! Let’s take a look:
Football franchises need a strong team to win. It’s nice to have a superstar, however they simply cannot cover all the positions in a game. Business owners can’t do it all either- you also need a team with skills and deep experience that you can delegate to. Teams and companies both rely on strong leadership to provide guidance and inspiration. Just like a coach, as a business leader, you need to know people’s strengths and weaknesses.
In football, some team members may not be seen on the field on game day, but they are there at every practice, dedicated to help keep the starting lineup at the top of their game. Similarly, businesses have employees who work behind the scenes that you simply could not operate without. In both cases, everyone has a specific role that is critical to your execution. The key ingredient that is needed to win is teamwork. When teamwork is present, it seems magical, as suddenly each individual’s impact is magnified! it builds trust as execution improves. Overall, everyone is more confident and committed!
Time and Timing are Critical
In football, players need to be in the right place at the right time. Toward the end of the game when a team has no more time-outs, players must often execute plays without a huddle. And there are segments – quarters- where performance is measured by the score and statistics.
In business, similarly you have projects, plans and schedules. To execute for your customers, everything must be in place for success. Also, your business team needs to be able to operate sometimes without specific direction, especially to keep key customers happy and when time is short. Businesses also have quarters – you need to step back, look at reports and see how the results are shaping up – see, you are keeping score too!
NFL football could not succeed without the fans. Sure, the games are challenging and fun, but it’s a business with expenses, player salaries and tickets / merch to be sold. Football teams focus a lot of resources to create an enjoyable and compelling fan experience.
Your business needs revenue and a following if you are going to make it. Successful businesses nurture those important relationships to develop customers into fans and mere fans into fanatics.
Teams spend several days of preparation leading up to the big game day. Preparation includes drills, practice, plays and strategy for that week’s opponent. Then within the game, players regroup in a huddle to recap the next play, with all the details: who needs to be where, and who is getting the ball. You see, success depends on effective communication.
Businesses also need to make sure everyone is on the same page. Goals, schedules, project updates and improvements to implement that require communication and training. You have business staff meetings, but they are very much like huddles.
Focus on the Goal
Vince Lombardi, famed head football coach said “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.”
Realistically, your favorite team’s short-term objective is the win that week with a longer-term focus to be this season’s champion.
In business; you need to be aware of the competition and deliver excellence for your customers. That can take many forms, but make sure your specific goal is well-defined, that everyone on your team knows it and you celebrate when you reach it. You’re the coach -get everyone aligned and focused on the vision! Executing on your goals consistently will help you stay ahead of the competition and continue to win fans.
Have a Game Plan
The bottom line is to make sure you have a revenue game plan for your upcoming busy season. Think about how you will engage your customers and continually monitor how they are progressing as ‘fans’. Are they ignoring your e-mails and just liking your social posts or are they actually coming in responding to specific offers and calls to action?
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Let us know what you view as critical factors to turn customers into raving fans - Enter comments below. (Click on Post to see comments box.)