Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Beyond The Drubbing, A Valuable Business Lesson For All Of Us To Learn.

A lesson we can all learn.
A few days ago was the match between Brazil and Germany in the Brazil 2014 World Cup semifinals, which ended with a smashing victory for the Teutonic team over the Canarinha 7 to 1, although I’m sure it could have been worse if Germany had wanted to, but that... we will never know. 

Since in my country we have never had the opportunity to go with our national team to such a high level competition, I've been a Brazil’s team fan for as long as I can remember, so the outcome of this game made ​​me feel really desolate. Very disappointed but not at all surprised: We could all see this one coming. 

But since the conversation on this blog is not about soccer, but business management, I'm not going to analyze the game itself but the lessons we can all draw from it to put them into practice in our own businesses and hopefully keep us all from being crushed that way by our target markets. 

Your business success should never depend on a single person. 

Brazil coach had already recognized their game exclusively revolved around Neymar Jr., who for many people is one of the best players in the whole world. I remember hearing this same thing several times in recent years. Before Neymar Jr., was Ronaldinho. Before him, Ronaldo and before Ronaldo there was certainly another one. 

And it's great that a team can count with high performance players, legendary ones such as Pele, Messi, Beckenbauer, and many other players we have seen, but the big question is: What happens when their performance is not at its best? What happens when they simply get injured, as it happened to Neymar Jr.? 

Is the team doomed to lose? Is it fair, not to say smart, that the team’s success is so strongly dependent on just one person? 

The same thing applies to your business: None of your operational areas should depend entirely on one single person, no matter how brilliant that person is. And let’s not even mention your “goals-producing” area, and by that I mean the sales area. 

If your company is still very small, the worst thing that can happen is that all the responsibilities are concentrated on your shoulders, but such situation is temporary. As your business grows, you will be delegating tasks on highly trained professionals, always keeping your eyes on monitoring each area. 

The game is won by the team who scores the goals, not the one playing the best. 

Scoring goals and playing the best, are not necessarily synonymous. In many cases, the team which has played the worst it’s the one who has scored the only goal on the game. Guess what? It’s the one winning the game! 

And again, the same thing happens in your business: No matter how beautiful your offices are, or how innovative your product is, or what a cool website you’ve got. If your product is not bought by as many people as possible, and as frequently as possible, you’ve got a problem.

Your product may have many positive qualities, but if at the end of the day, you’re not able to sell it, your business will come down to pieces. 

Don’t get me wrong: All of these things add up and help you out, but in themselves they’re not decisive to your company’s success. Often the efforts are focused on all areas except the one which is really important: Making sure people will buy the product or service you sell, not once but many times. 

Don’t ever let success get to your head. 

If you have achieved all your goals, set new and higher ones. Germany didn’t get satisfied by scoring the first goal. Not at all, sir. They saw an opportunity and fought to score the second one. And with this came the third, then the fourth. In the blink of an eye, Germany had completely dominated the game, and that's when they started to play more relaxed. I’d have done the same! 

Keep always the same attitude with your business: Never stop looking for new opportunities. 

There are always new markets to explore, new things to do, ways to innovate, to grow, to sell more. Don’t ever stop, and much less when you're winning. 

During this Soccer World Cup, there had been many other games in which the teams were happy with a 1-0 score, or going to penalties, that is, doing the minimum they had to do to win the game. There wasn’t the case for Germany. They were not satisfied with the 1-0, which might have been enough. They wanted it all, and they got it. 

Keep also in mind: There is always the risk that your competitor bounces back and gets into the game and, at the very last minute, they score what they need to move ahead of you and win the game. So, don’t get too comfy while on the top. 

Chronicle of a Death Foretold: When a product is faulty, it must be fixed. 

And this one truly got my attention, but again I was not surprised at all: During an interview, Brazil’s coach not only recognized their whole game depended on just one player but also that Brazil was a team that would suffer very much in every game, that is, it wouldn’t be easy for them to win.

And if he already knew things were this way and that victory would never come easy to Brazil, it’s clear there is something going wrong somewhere. Something is not working right. Something is missing. 

Wouldn’t it have been easier to identify the inner faults and do everything possible to fix them?

Recognizing weaknesses in your product may be a quite altruistic and commendable act, but beyond this, the real action you should take is to implement the necessary changes, improvements that are needed to make your product better and better everytime . A better product has better chances to be purchased. A defective product, doesn’t.

What lessons can we then learn to apply in our business?

  • That no area of ​​your business should ever depend entirely on one person, and if it’s so, you must have a plan of action just in case that person quits.
  • Businesses are numbers, and above all, sales. If you don’t have sales, you have no business. Therefore, concentrate on making what you need to do to increase sales more. 
  • Do not settle just for a successful day. If you achieved all your goals, set your aim on reaching higher goals. 
  • Do not try to dominate the market with a poor product because, at some point in time, deficiencies come to light. If there are improvements to do, make sure to take care of it it as soon as you can. 

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