Owning a business is, in many ways, like being a football coach.
Understanding the strengths of your personnel is required to be successful, and understanding your competition is also needed to be a winning business.
But many successful business owners share another trait with a good football coach: the ability to make half-time adjustments.
As we have talked about in the past, a good business plan is needed for any owner to transition an idea to income. Similarly, each week football coaches put together a game plan with their team; based on their research, coaches feel they know their opponent’s tendencies, strength and weaknesses.
But football, and business, isn’t a video game. Competition is likely doing similar research, and evaluating your strengths and weaknesses as well. Just because a plan looks and sounds good doesn’t mean it will always work.
Winning coaches make adjustments during the game, changing pieces of the game plan to accommodate changes in conditions and the maneuvers of the other team.
If a team had planned on throwing the ball a lot and they arrive at their game site to see a strong wind or pouring rain, winning coaches consider running the ball more because of the weather conditions. If the other team leaves their tendency to play a specific type of zone defense, winning coaches will include more plays that will attack the new weaknesses in the defense.
A winning business owner needs to be flexible with your business plans as well.
If your research and the reality of your market’s spending habits don’t align, making an adjustment in product or price point is an appropriate change. If your competition begins offering a new item, being able to respond to that will keep you competitive in your market.
As you watch football this season, watch the adjustments coaches make during the game. Consider how you could, or should, make changes to your plan to stay in the game as well.