Running your own business is not for the faint-hearted! For many people, this idea sounds really awesome at first as it depicts a desirable future of financial freedom and the ultimate rewards of a stress-free life. Isn’t this what dreams are made of, or is it really?
As you push pass go and you’re out the blocks with the euphoric thrust towards achieving your goals the first bend approaches with its hidden unexpected challenges. You suddenly plunge headlong into a pit of discouragement as doubt sets in to throw you off course. Success suddenly starts becoming an elusive dream sending you to find yourself now occupying the front seat on the first big dip on an emotional roller coaster ride destined for stops at “what was I thinking?” “Why?” and finally at “How do I get off?”
Just before you decide, I thought I should share these thoughts with you, one zealous entrepreneur” to another.
I am often told by my close friend, “what you lose on the bend, you will make up on the straight”.
As I write this article, I am reminded that this is exactly what happened recently. At the IAAF World Championship on the 13th August 2017, when the Trinidad and Tobago Men’s Relay Team won the 4×400 relay.
It was not what onlookers expected, especially knowing that the contenders were power teams such as the USA and Great Britain. On the day, the race clearly showed Trinidad and Tobago men’s team followed in second place for the greater part of the race behind the US quartet, but as destiny would have it, the final runner LaLonde Gordon made it around the bend onto the straight with horsepower acceleration on the homestretch taking the team to victory.
What a feat!
Newton’s first law of motion tells us for something to keep moving there must be a force. This applies in reality be it the athletic track or in business. Athletic tracks worldwide have been standardized to an oval design in which a track and field athlete is required to push him/herself against to bring out his/her full potential for winning a race against competitors. In races more than 200m, athletes face an additional challenge of bends that requires their skill, technique and focus. Getting past the bends onto the straights can make all the difference for winning, especially in the final stretch, it’s all up to the athlete to determine the outcome in the race.
In the context of business, it is the same, to succeed we need to ensure we have the variables of will, focus, determination and confidence in our ability to succeed. We will experience those bends occasionally when sales revenue drop, operational challenges abound, aggressive competition heightens and consumer trends radically changes. The global market place is very fierce and coupled with turbulent dynamics in technology that has the power to change consumer preferences almost instantaneously. The reality every business faces is that the best of plans fail and do not achieve projected outcomes.
Market bends will ultimately impact the performance of the business, however, is this the end? Or is this a bright and new beginning?
As you prepare your market response for making up on the straight, remember the stands are filled with your target audience to cheer you on. This is basic marketing 101. Business Variables + Market’s Dynamics + Strategy = Business Sustainability. You have the opportunityto create the outcomes you desire through the development of strategies derived from your business’ capabilities, resources and market forces.
The objective is to adopt a mindset of making up on the straight all the time. You’re in business to succeed, even if it means starting again and again until you get it right.
Lastly, let us never forget “knowledge is power” so staying abreast of consumer behaviours and new technology are significant for ensuring your operations and business strategy are consistently aligned in the market for business success and sustainability.
So, you may be on bend right now, remember to prepare for the
straight and get ready to accelerate as it approaches.
Written by Lisa Hudson