For more Information please visit our web portal.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Learning From The Best: Get Back To Basics

By Shaun Meany
The PEiR Group

Last Sunday I had a chance to watch the U.S. national soccer team play Brazil in the Confederation Cup finals in Johannesburg South Africa. I normally don’t watch much soccer, but after the U.S. team surprised Spain (another world class powerhouse) with a score of 2-0 earlier in the week; I just had to watch the U.S. play Brazil.

It was a great game, and it wasn't long into it that I begin to see parallels between the match and our industry today. Like the U.S. and Brazilian players, we're playing to win in an environment full of challenges. Your business, of course, is not a game, your livelihood and those of your employees are at stake - not a silver cup and bragging rights. But if you look at your business and prepare yourselves like the Americans did before their games with Spain and Brazil there are lessons to be found as we enter the second half this challenging year.

Preparing for Sunday's match, the U.S. team was keenly focused on soccer basics: maintain ball possession, keep up a good defense and capitalize on scoring opportunities. This was clearly demonstrated as the U.S. built a 2-0 lead going into the second half.

But when play resumed the Americans were noticeably exhausted. They started to make critical mistakes. The rest was soccer history: the Brazilian’s closed the gap 2-1 then 2-2 and finally toward the end of the half they took the lead and the final with a last minute surge that put them on top at 3-2.

So, what are the lessons that you can learn from this?

The business challenges you are facing require that you have your best team available and ready to play.

This economic cycle we are currently facing is just finishing the first half. You need to pace yourself and your employees to maintain good practices, keep your business fit and lean so it can meet the second half with enthusiasm and creativity.

Remember the basics. Treat each customer and job as if it is the only one. Study your competition. What are they doing that you're not? Are you focusing on just AEC or looking for revenues in quick printing and copying, large and small format color, archiving, FM’s and growing digital services?

Here's my locker room sales talk: Don’t be like the US soccer team. Keep focused on the goal, remember the basics and keep pace with your competition - and save a little extra for when you'll need it!

No comments: