On a recent Sunday, along with three quarters of a million people, I visited London to watch a close friend of mine run in the marathon, do feel free to sponsor 😉. There I stood watching thousands of people run past me and all I could think was that “I don’t know how they do it”.
Running has been something that I have wanted to take up for some time now, and seeing this friend go through the process of training has been a true inspiration to me. In discovering the best place to begin my training it occurred to me that many of the same principles apply when it comes to running a company.
To demonstrate what I mean I have taken a number of running tips from a very well known fitness publication and transformed them into handy guidelines for business strategy and development. (Anything to avoid putting my trainers on and getting out there!)
Watch your footing and be careful out there
Always make sure that you have a clear view of where it is that you are going, and take care not to stumble on the way. You want your journey to be a smooth and rhythmic as possible in order to avoid injury. One of the ways to ensure this is to tackle your smaller issues before they grow into larger, unmanageable beasts. Careful planning and strategising will aid in the ability to distinguish upcoming issues, alongside potential solutions.
Have you ever tried running whilst keeping your arms still? Trust me, it’s not something that comes very naturally. Besides, by swinging your arms you are more likely to get your legs working quicker, it’s just the way our bodies are made.
This all boils down to momentum, a key business term. However momentum doesn’t just come from nowhere, it needs engagement and development. Designing strategies that encourage these will release the true potential and sustainability of your business.
Be progressive and see the bigger picture
Goals are easier to achieve if they are broken down, yet you still want to keep the overall aim in mind so that you are always striving towards it. This is where business plans really help to outline your strategies and goals. So many businesses don’t have business plans, or they do but fail to refer to them. They can be invaluable at helping you to focus on more than just one aspect of the business and educating you of your limitations. A favourite client of ours does some great work building Big Pictures to help communicate business strategy on a global scale with the use of pictorial metaphors.
Disassociate yourself and ask an expert
Many business owners find it difficult to disassociate themselves from their business. Just because they run the company, or perhaps built it from the ground up, doesn’t mean that they always have the business acumen or experience to back up their decisions.
It can be a hard lesson to learn but the company may just benefit from the ability of business owner to take a step back and ask for outside advice on overall strategy. Mentoring from a business expert could prove invaluable.
Chill out, take your time and enjoy it
Statistics state that in the UK 39% of all work-related illnesses boil down to stress. Sure, we all have those days where we want to pull our hair out no matter what, but nobody wants or deserves unnecessary stress in the workplace.
Employees want to come to work and feel as though they are making a positive impact on the business and know that their work is valued. We all need to learn how to enjoy our jobs more. The good news is that there are so many ways that companies can contribute to the well being of their staff, by nurturing a relaxed and trusting culture.
I saw so many different characters taking part in the race; old, young, fit, healthy, struggling, serious, focussed and those who were clearly just really enjoying themselves. Some kept to themselves, striving for their own personal goals, while others ran as a group providing each other with the support that they all needed to make it through.
But they all had two of the same things in common to help them get to the finish line; preparation and support. They had all trained so hard to get to where they were, and they all had hundreds of thousands of people cheering them on. Speaking to my friend after the race, they confirmed that without these it was unlikely that they would have managed to finish. That’s why it is so important in business to prepare for any eventuality and take all of the support that you can get.
Unlike the marathon, there is no straight A to B route to be taken, each business has to find their own way. IT Hummingbird provide a wide range of IT and digital consultancy services that could give the preparation and support you need on your marathon. To discover more drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org