I first wrote this blog last summer after being gripped by the fantastic performances at the Rio Olympics by Team GB and in particular the continued domination of the medals by Team GB Cycling. After watching Jason Kenny win his fifth Olympic gold medal I sat back and contemplated what was it that made Team GB Cycling so successful and like many sport innovations how could these be reflected in the modern world of business.

  1. Teamwork – First and foremost none of the athletes would be where they are today without a solid professional team of experts and advisors behind them giving them all the advice they need whether it be the latest training plan or nutritional plan. If you want to survive in business it is important you surround yourself with experts that can help you from both outside the business and inside the business, don’t look upon this as a cost look at it as an investment in your business.
  2. Equipment – Team GB could have saved a fortune if they used the same bikes in Rio as they did in London; this is a mistake many businesses find themselves in where they slowly find they are less competitive as competitors gain efficiencies from using the latest equipment, this is why Team GB Cycling are always the team leading the way with the latest technology.
  3. Talent – Success doesn’t just happen, Team GB has had a strategy to identify and nurture talent from an early age and bring them through the ranks learning from the current best of the best. In your business it is important to identify talent early so you can nurture and develop them to their full potential rather than lose them to your competition or worse still set up on their own to compete against you.
  4. Training – Team GB Cyclists spend hours upon hours training so that they are ready to go for gold in the big events. In your business how often do you train, yes there is on the job training, but how often do you look for new ways of doing things. Cyclists constantly have to try new riding styles to see which delivers the best performance. In business you should do the same not just occasionally but constantly in order to keep yourselves at the top of your game.
  5. Data – Data analysis has helped Team GB eek out as many marginal gains as possible, with real time data analysis fed back to the team instantly this enables them to keep trying new techniques and quickly identify the good from the bad.  Some businesses only review their data once a year when they have their accounts produced by their accountant. Just think what business decisions could be made if you had daily information at your fingertips.

That is why I am such an advocate of the awesome cloud accountancy software Xero. After five years of using I can tell you Xero really does help business owners get to grips with their financials on a day to day basis. Once you have mastered this you can then move to the next level and try different things in the business to see if a marginal gain has been achieved.