How to play a bigger game in business

In the modern business world, change happens so quickly that if you haven't got your eyes on the game, you can be quickly thrown out of it. As a business owner, you need to evolve and shift with the times and trends, or risk getting left behind. So if you want to play a bigger game, here's what you need to know:

Understand What Matters
Customers' perceptions, needs, and experiences change. Regularly ask your customers what things are most important to them. It might be efficiency, it might be service, it might be range or any one of a hundred things. For weeks and months, the answers may be the same, but three things happen here: 
1. They appreciate that you ask, which shows you care.
2. When it shifts, and it will, you will be on top of it. 
3 You can measure whether you are hitting the mark with what's important to them.

Get the Team Right
Even little league soccer players consider how they are doing on a weekly basis and make adjustments accordingly. You should be doing this in business: assessing the team, changing roles, coaching, and training skills where needed on a weekly basis, so you get better each and every week.

Know What You Want to Be Famous for
If you are not clear on what you are playing for, or what the business wants to be famous for, you have no identity. People connect with a purpose. Your customers can measure you against your identity and when it lives up to the promise, they will shout about you to others. The other great reason for having something to be famous for is to give your employees something to attach themselves to and to measure their performance against.

Understand the New Rules
The game of business is changing all the time. If you only hang out in your business, or in businesses in the same industry, you can become stale and caught up in the same old stuff. While comparing apples with apples is useful, it's when you compare apples with oranges that the game changes. By this I mean that comparing your business with businesses that are nothing like yours. I took a group of banking clients to explore petrol stations recently and they were blown away by the point of sale and promotional strategies the service stations use. New ideas have to come from somewhere and there are plenty of business doing great things that could help you change the rules in your business.

Magic Numbers
In sports, you know when you are winning or losing by looking at the scoreboard. In business we should be doing the same thing. While the accountants have to count everything, in most businesses there is one set of numbers that shows how well the business is performing. For hotels its occupancy rate; for airlines its filled seats; for a coffee franchise its coffee grind by weight per hour. Whatever your magic numbers are, they should be shared with your team so they can understand how they are going in the game of business on a weekly basis. Put a scoreboard up, so your team can see what's happening and if they are making progress.

They say that life parallels sports and I believe that business is the same. If you are not finding ways to play a bigger game, it won't be long before you are out of the game

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