What can small business learn from Team New Zealand? So they had a challenge. They had a small population to draw talent from, a small budget and a need to compete against a larger talent pool with unlimited funds. They were facing competition where the rules are one-sided and unfair. What do they do, they play to their strengths and win!

They had a clear goal and target. The target was clear and parameters immoveable. They needed to focus on the outcome not on what they didn’t have.

Budget. They looked at the limited funds available & planned accordingly. They chose to design the heck out of it, save money by going to Bermuda when they had to and limited the amount of change required to the boat after launch to save money.

Concentrate on their business. Other syndicates had big budgets, big teams and big attitude. They couldn’t match their money or team size so they ignored it. Throughout the series they just got on with their game plan & ignored what was going on around them. In the finals mind games were being played but they chose not to get involved. Head down & on with the job. There was history from the last time they did it but that was then & this is now.

They looked within. Team New Zealand decided that because they didn’t have the vast reserves of money to build prototypes & many boats they looked to the strength that they had & called upon the best designers & innovators that were here. They spent the money they had to refine & model the most efficient  boat they could, they didn’t build many & waste time testing them – they built one, the best & most innovative that they could afford.

Know what you have. Once they had that one boat they then got on & learnt how to use it to the best advantage before going public. They were late to Bermuda because they wanted to be perfect before arrival. This saved them money & also limited the rival’s ability to watch them perfect their work or alter their boat. They had a great team, on & off the water, & they focussed on the team & the result & didn’t worry on what others had or did.

So what did we learn?

  1. We learnt to define the objective.
  2. Define what we have available to achieve that objective.
  3. Define how ewe are going to achieve that objective using what we have available.
  4. Define a timeline based upon the above.
  5. Work to that timeline adjusting as required to achieve that result.

How can we relate this to our business?

Goal & Target. Do you want to increase sales? Increase return on investment? Open another office? Employ more staff? Clearly define your objective, it must be narrow or you will be distracted by could, maybe & should.

Budget. Cost out how much you can spare to achieve what you want to achieve, then plan & work with that.

Concentrate on your business. Don’t look at how other firms achieved their goal & just copy it. They had different strengths & weaknesses. Look & see what they did well/bad & learn from it & look at your firm & adapt to suit your situation.

Look within. What are your firms biggest strengths & work to maximise them & what are your biggest weaknesses & minimise them. You may have great staff but limited funds so unleash & motivate your staff & their knowledge & input to the fullest advantage to negate the lack of funds.

Know what you have. What’s your competitive advantage, what do you do really well, what can you streamline & improve & how best to utilise what’s to hand both in team intellect & company resources.

What should we call this process? Well let’s call it a business plan.