Prepare Like a Winner
The motivational experts remind us that to perform like a winner, you have to prepare like a winner. This is important for personal fitness, extending from the weekend-warrior out to win the annual neighborhood softball competition to an experienced athlete participating in the Hy-Vee Triathlon.
Medical professionals also embrace this mantra when caring for their patients. Prior to beginning an operation, the surgical team takes all necessary steps to be prepared: researching new medical findings about the procedure, confirming the patient's medical history, running diagnostic tests and securing the proper instruments and medications to match the patient’s physical needs.
Business success depends on similar tactics. Before embarking on a new initiative or service line, make sure you’re ready:
Research – Look at what’s already available, what the competition is doing and why the latest similar product failed (or succeeded). Take these factors into account before you begin.
Confirm the facts – A general report shows you’re losing market share and wants to know how you’ll react. Before making sweeping changes, validate the numbers. It’s easier to spend a fraction of your budget on market research than to overhaul your entire division, only to learn the transformation wasn’t necessary.
Test the waters – Henry Ford said, “If I’d asked people what they want they would have said a faster horse,” but I argue that it’s important to poll your customers to completely understand their needs and preferences. Consider focus groups or other methods to evaluate your ideas.
Gather your resources – You’ll need ample time and talent to succeed. Build a diverse team that works well together and isn’t afraid to challenge the status quo, or the company’s business plan, if it will better the project.
So, when preparing for a race, a personal wellness plan or your next business adventure, build in time for preparation. The up-front investment increases your chance of winning and can make the whole experience more enjoyable.