The harder I practice, the luckier I get! (Gary Player)

Jun 16, 2014 | Uncategorized

Will a lucky side win the World Cup?

Planning, Strategy, Goals and Objectives are all part of a successful approach, whether you are a football team or a business.

I am writing this on the opening day of the World Cup in Brazil so please forgive any football references!

Research by software company, Sage (see our new  Website’s, Business News section,  for this and other interesting articles) suggests that only 28% of small businesses felt that luck had any bearing on their success. Good luck did not feature in the top 5 contributing factors for businesses performing well.

On the other hand, poorly performing SMEs cited bad luck as one of the top 3 causes! (Think England penalty shoot outs, David Beckham’s red card etc. etc.).

Of course, there is plenty of other research and evidence supporting the benefit of planning ahead.

So the big question to Roy Hodgson (and you) is, have you got a written strategic plan? I’m pretty sure his answer would be yes.

So, how about you?

Based on my own ad hoc research, I would say that the most likely answer to this question is no!

At a recent conference I attended – bearing in mind it was almost entirely populated by accountants, (yes, I live a very exciting life!), less than a third of the firms represented had a written plan. And they should know about these things! Now, I’m not suggesting that this means that they are not successful but I would definitely say that they almost certainly could be a lot more successful if they did have a plan.

Apart from the general business advantages of planning ahead, post recession – as businesses plot their cautious ways forward, it is highly likely that Banks will insist on detailed business plans to support lending applications and now the Government have allocated funds (Growth Vouchers) to encourage businesses to seek professional  help with strategic business matters.

For those that haven’t already heard of Growth Vouchers, the £30 million government initiative is aimed at helping smaller and start-up businesses grow through strategic advice.

Successful applicants who apply for Growth Vouchers are allocated a voucher up to the value of £2,000, matched with their own funds, to access expertise in a variety of areas, including strategic financial advice. Again, more information and links about this scheme are available on our website.

So Roy, lets hope you have all the essential ingredients for a successful strategic plan and therefore, a successful World Cup Plan:

  • Excellent Team Members – the right combination of Youth and Experience
  • Fully aligned team
  • Good products (tactics)
  • Analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)
  • Clear Objectives with specific actions to achieve
  • Good customer (supporter) relations
  • Knowledge of your competition
  • Good communication system
  • Monitoring of progress

If England doesn’t have a good tournament, maybe Roy could apply for a Growth Voucher – I’d be happy to help him prepare a plan for Qatar!

In the meantime, I’ve drawn Belgium in the office World Cup draw. I’ll settle for an England v Belgium final!

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