Eight Small Business Lessons From 2012

So London 2012 is finished. Despite the fears of security issues, traffic meltdown and general disorganisation, the London Olympics turned out to be a triumph in almost every way from start to finish.

So what can a small business take away from these last few weeks?

1) As we watched our athletes excel, we were constantly reminded of the amount of hard work that had been put in over the last four years.

 The equation is very simple; hard work leads to great results.

2) Brands such as London 2012 and Team GB have become part of the national identity. Constant reinforcement, have made these brands ones that will probably live on in the memory for many years.

 A strong brand identity has never been so important and its value cannot be underestimated.

3) Each country had almost a s many coached and support staff as atheletes.. Whether it be fitness, psychological or even nutritional, these men and women played as much of a part in the success that was achieved as the sports people themselves.

 Harnessing the power of a team is crucial to ensuring that “Together Everyone Achieves More”.

4) The number of events, days, countries, competitors, supporters and spectators made the organisation of these Olympics completely mind boggling. Apart fom just getting everything ready on time, the fact that the whole thing ran so smoothly, is a tribute to the organisational skills of many backroom people.

 A good business is well run and well organised.

5) Everyone that took part in these games had a clear goal. Whether it was the winning of a gold medal, or preparation for the next games, goal setting was at the centre of all the competitors’ efforts.

Every business should have clear goals and should be constantly working towards them.

6) It’s  absolutely vital that sports people train regularly. Many businesses assume they know a lot more than they really do and don’t improve their skills by attending appropriate training courses. We live in an  ever changing business world and how we did things yesterday and even today may not be relevant for tomorrow.

Regularly attending training courses is critical.

7) Tthere is no doubt that our Olympic medal winners have been inspirational. Build something great and do the right thing and you can leave your mark.

Even if you only employ a few people, try and inspire them.

8) Team GB’s cycling team has been one of the great successes of this Olympics. Part of this has been attributed to Dave Brailsford, whose philosophy of marginal improvement appears to have made a major impact. Making one big change is something that people can easily copy, but changing many things in a small way is less risky and less obvious.

 Focus on the little things

As a Chartered Accountant and Consultant at Westbury, Howard Graham has been helping small businesses for the last 30 years. During that time, he has also set up numerous successful businesses including an award winning internet business and a restaurant as well as having an interest in a property company, a farm and a design company. He also is a regular speaker on small business issues as well as writing for the BBC, Microsoft and  Imbibe magazine.

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