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Business is a long distance race, making it shorter may be your downfall

Business is a long distance race, making it shorter may be your downfall

It is my belief that every business should have some sort of exit strategy. That may mean selling your business in the future, or it may mean handing it over to the next generation. The reality of business, is no-one lives forever and it's always good to go into business with a plan in mind, and that includes covering such things as ill health, death, a sale of the business, or passing it on to the next generation. Perhaps you want to list your company on the stock exchange or expand it overseas and sell off areas that don't make sense long term.

When I look at Marketing Eye and how far we have come, I realise that our business has been short-sighted in one way, and long-sighted in another. We have an exit strategy, a business plan, a marketing strategy and a people strategy. With these things documented, it is helpful when trying to accelerate the businesses growth, and not be deterred by things that may stall our growth or our ability to deliver on our goals.

Just yesterday, we hired our most senior business development manager. We receive lots of leads each day and it is hard to work out what is a good fit. We use keywords in our conversations that help us identify through experience which companies are a good fit and which may not be. Sometimes we get it right and sometimes we get it wrong. Mostly though, if  we trust our gut instincts, it is going to turn out fine in the long run.

There are so many things up in the air at the moment and more deadlines than I care to admit but as my mentor reminded me when I rang him trying in earnst to pretend that I am not stressed, "it's a long distance race". What a good reminder. Everything doesn't have to be done yesterday. It has to be done well and to the highest level possible. 

I once was a good chess player. I say 'once' as I haven't played in 20 years - I am sure! In fact, I don't recall ever losing a game of chess. Chess, you will find, is a game of choice for many business people. When you play chess as a child, you realise that its a game, and it may take up hours of your time, or days, but there is one goal that you have to reach - so be prepared to wait it out, and stay alert. As an adult, I have realised that many of my counterparts played chess too. If you think about playing chess, you have to have patients, think about your oponents moves and your own, three steps ahead.

If you are really good at chess, I wonder whether you are also a good business person. In my experience, the game is something many business people are good at. 

If you see your business as a long distance race:

  • Keep calm, you are in there for the long haul
  • Be strategic, and with an end goal in mind, make pivotal moves that will help you achieve your business goals
  • Health is everything, so mitigate any stress that you may hold by doing yoga, meditating or living a healthy lifestyle
  • Innovate at every chance. 
  • Invest in your people, performance and technology platforms
  • Change the game often. Don't keep playing the same game, otherwise your competitors will catch on.


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comment ( 1 )
  • Malin Boemke
    Malin Boemke
    16 Jun 2017

    True - we should call to mind "its a long distance race". Not only in buisness, but also in life.
    Your advices are very helpful.
    Best wishes,
    Malin Boemke

    Reply