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Are You a Champion? Three Tips to Play Like a Pro in Your Business

16 01 27 blog heading

We all want to make big plays right at kickoff and see that big return. But as in football, it’s rare to reach the goal on your first drive. If you do, you’re either some wizardly all-star or just plain lucky against the competition.

More often, you’re moving the chains drive after drive steadily working your way down the field. The Super Bowl is only weeks away, and success for these teams is no different than any other business you run.  If you’re struggling to catch a win, look to the pros to see how you can do more than just win the coin toss.

Here's three tips to help your business go from a rookie to champion:

1. Knowing Your Opposition

Chances are, your competition has a gameplan. Do you have a competitive edge?  If not, your potential customers may find themselves rooting for the team that's already winning their hearts.  In today's business, it's all about using your strengths to reach the endzone.  It's not to say competition is weak, but what helps you break out is they aren't considering what's unique in your playbook.

Ask yourself these questions when looking at your business:

• Does another business have a similar product or service?

• What is my message? Who is the intended receiver?   

• How can I convince my audience I'm the better choice on the field?

While a good defense in football strives to find a weakness in the other team, you’re looking for a “pain” or unmet need in your customers. Understanding the market helps position your team to get the ball in your favor with your winning product.

Research their websites, ads, commercials.  Visit their stores.  What do you like about it?  What DON’T you like?  Understanding who else is playing in your field better prepares you how to win the game, and gather fans and customers.

(Timing your plays: Awesome infographic about using social media)

16 01 27 quarterback

2. Knowing Your Drive

After your playbook is set and you've studied what you're up against, it's time to utilize that strategy.  Often, it's not just one simple play, it's a mix based on what may be going on in the market.  Consider what you see in any given football game:

Running Backs: They're consistent short gains.  It might not be as spectacular as the big pass, but sure enough it's keeping the ball moving towards the ultimate goal.

Think of this as your content marketing, your monthly promotions, your social media.  These might be small in the big picture of things, but they're grabbing the attention of the crowd.  You might feel that you're falling behind on your own 10-yard-line, but a consistent strong drive will move those chains.

(Small gains, but big plays? 30 Interesting Marketing Facts)

Wide Receivers: They're fast, exciting, and going big.  But if the quarterback isn't on target and reading the field with ultimate precision, you literally can drop the ball on this one, losing precious time and yardage.  There's more risk, but a higher payoff. One silver lining, if it's incomplete, the clock stops and gives the team extra time to regroup.

Big sales, a new product or service, marketing campaigns, a big pitch to a big client… You're going big, or going home.  If you don't make the play, don't sweat it.  Sometimes it leads to other options.  But often, success comes from careful timing and a bit of finesse to land big yardage.  These opportunities can come when you find the competition is lacking in coverage. In other words, it's a product they don't have, a message that's not already tapping into the market, with your speedy business is ahead of the game.

Assess the risk, read your options, and make the throw.

Quarterbacks: The leader. Understanding the defense, what's at stake, and who can best put points on the board.  Everything can ultimately lie upon him to make the call about where the team is going.  Failing to read their options and take smart action, the team goes nowhere. If they drop the ball, it looks horrid and might send him to the bench.

This is you, of course!  Everyone has a job, and it's your job to make sure everyone is doing their job.  You know when the consistent short gains are the best option.  You see that opportunity that can really get the team ahead.  You're counting on the offensive line to keep the chaos at bay so you can get the job done. Hey, speaking of...

The Offensive Line: Did you know that the Left Tackle is one of the highest paid athletes in the whole bunch? It was a big trend around 2006-2008. While the Wideouts and Running Backs are high stepping and diving into the endzone, it was viewed that this offensive lineman has one of the most important jobs: the Quarterback's "blind side." He's doing everything he can to help make sure his boss gets plenty of time and protection to get the job done.  If the Quarterback find the chaos closing in, the deadline to get the ball down-field goes off-schedule and can find himself landing on his back, not knowing where his team is. Strategies and playbooks have shifted, leaving this continued notion up for debate, but the message is clear: protection and organization is paramount.

Are you keeping up with schedules? Are you organized? Keeping everything tight and in formation makes your campaigns and selling that much easier.

16 01 27 blog scrimmage

3. Consistency

It might sound so simple, but how many teams have you seen change their lineup and management? Is it any better when starting fresh? Or is it a constant regrouping of finding out what went wrong? (One team sure comes to mind…)

It's the name of the game.  Knowing your strengths is key to building upon your team.  It's reminding yourself that covering 100 yards isn't done in one play.  A winning season takes a few losing seasons to finally get confortable.  It's repeating your plays when the timing is right and constantly conditioning your team to the constant challenges ahead.

And not every play is going to work.  That's how you learn where you can improve.  There's plenty of coaching to be done, for you and your team.  Whether it be a designer to create a brand that matches your personality, a marketing team to help you find a winning strategy, or a tough and energetic sales team that can carry your business for the win.

But keeping these things in mind, you will soon find yourself leading the board. The clock will be easier to manage, the team is feeling great, and you find yourself taking a knee for the win.

Do you find yourself fumbling? Have any questions on what might help carry the ball? Or are you working on killer plays that needs to be put on paper? Let us know!

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