Keep your eyes on the ball: Three things small businesses can learn from World Cup 2018

Keep your eyes on the ball: Three things small businesses can learn from World Cup 2018
Jim O'Hagan
Jim O'HaganCurrys PC World Business

Posted: Wed 13th Jun 2018

The similarities between top athletes and successful businessmen and women are well documented.

A relentless hunger to be the best, an ability to think clearly under pressure and the occasional ruthless streak are seen in all the best performers, whether that be on the tennis court, football pitch, swimming pool, or boardroom.

However, the similarities between sport and business are not limited to individual traits; there is a lot that small business owners can learn from the way the world's best sports teams operate as a collective.

So, with World Cup 2018 kicking off this week, Jim O'Hagan, business development director at Currys PC World Business, a supporter of the Go and Grow Online campaign, shares three things small businesses can learn from the tournament's best teams:

1. Stick to a strong formation

Whether it's a 4-4-2, 4-5-1 or even a 4-3-3, the world's elite football teams have set formations and stick to them.

Formations give teams structure, mean responsibilities are easily recognised, and in the event of injury, players can be quickly replaced without a significant impact on the wider team.

Just look at England, Jamie Vardy instantly knows what to do when he comes on and Harry Kane comes off.

Formations also allow partnerships to form in more unusual places.

For example, Marcus Rashford and Harry Maguire might spend most of the game at opposite ends of the pitch but when it comes to defending a corner, they know exactly what they need to do and are able to combine their height, strength and agility to fend off any aerial threats from opposition strikers!

The same is true in business, having a structure is essential for getting your small business firing on all cylinders.

More importantly, it's crucial that everyone has an awareness of the work everyone else is doing and is given the opportunity to work together.

You never know, you might just find the next Sheringham and Shearer partnership in your midst, if you let strategy and sales skill sets combine.

2. Play to your strengths

It might sound simple but once you've got your formation in place, you need to make sure you've got the right players in the right positions. Your star striker is unlikely to make a good left back, just like your left back is unlikely to make a star striker!

It's important to think of your small business in the same way. You need to exploit your team's strengths by using them in their best positions.

Even if you're a one-man or woman band, you need to know what you can take on and what you might need help with, after all, not even Lionel Messi does it all on his own!

You won't get the best out of your team, or yourself, if you don't you play to your strengths.

3. Train, train, train… but do it smartly

The world's best football teams spend 90% of their time on the training pitch and just 10% of it playing matches.

They're slick because they've put hours and hours into practice, so they're able to perform when it matters.

If you need any more evidence of this just look at Cristiano Ronaldo's Instagram account. In between the cars, kids and his trophy collections, are endless photos of him practicing free kicks, lifting weights and completing sprint drills. His dedication to training is unwavering, and that's why he's ready to perform when the whistle blows.

But Ronaldo is not training alone. His sessions are also supplemented by the latest tech, that tells him how hard he's working, how far he's run and even where he needs to strike the ball to achieve his trade mark topspin free kicks.

Tech enables him to use his time more efficiently and improve his performance as a result.

Tech can have the same impact on your business practices. If you spend three hours a day commuting but work from a desktop you need to question whether you're really making the most of your time.

Stepping back and thinking about how you're preparing for action, and whether tech can benefit your small business, will pay dividends when its time to perform.

Although we can expect moments of individual brilliance, the team that emerges triumphant in Russia will be the one that works best together.

When you're watching Brazil, Spain, or even England play this summer, take a moment to think about how they operate and see what you can learn from the world's best.

Currys PC World Business supports Enterprise Nation's Go and Grow Online campaign which encourages more businesses to get online and supports existing internet traders to grow through inspiring content and events. Get advice and book event tickets here.

Access hundreds of deals on the latest technology to keep you connected while working flexibly at Currys PC World Business.

Jim O'Hagan
Jim O'HaganCurrys PC World Business

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