Top Ten Olympic Messages for Specialist Sub-Contractors

Top Ten Olympic Messages For Specialist Sub-Contractors

You only have to look around the business pages and magazines to see various takes on some of the lessons we can learn from the Olympics,

Much is being made of the techniques sports psychologists use to improve performance, and how they can be applied to business.

But, I know what you’re thinking…

That’s all well and good for athletes and other businesses, but I’m a Specialist
Sub-Contractor and it doesn’t work like that in the real world of Construction and Engineering.

All I can say is; don’t dismiss it, give it a chance, at least read what I have to say, it will only take a few minutes, and please remember that;

“If you always do what you’ve always done – you will always get what you’ve always got.”

So after the great successes of the 2012 London Olympic Games and Team GB, here are the key lessons we can take from the inspirational sportsmen and women who have graced our screens over the past few weeks. As originally provided by Deborah Done, managing director of Nab Communications, with a little bit of a tweak thrown in by me to highlight how it can work in your world!

1. Have a vision and clear objectives. All the athletes who made it to the 2012 Olympics would have had a definite target in mind; whether to beat a PB, make it through the heats or win a medal. Similarly, it’s important when running a business to have a “grand vision” of what you want to aim for. Then break this grand vision down into the smaller steps you need to attain to see you on your way. These more attainable targets, set on a monthly or six monthly basis, can then become your game plan.

Working on your business rather than in your business is important. Even when you are up to your neck in it, you need to find a bit of time in your busy week to think about how you do things. If you are constantly fixing the same kind of problem, maybe you need to look at the root cause of that problem and fix it once and for all.

Not getting paid for variations for instance is a big problem that repeats over and over again but there are simple things you can do to improve the situation.

2. Small, incremental steps make a big difference over time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor did Michael Phelps become one of the greatest Olympians overnight. Athletes improve by making small changes and setting small challenges daily and building up over time – similar to the Japanese approach known as KAIZEN. The same applies to business – why not think of three small changes that will improve the way you operate and aim to implement them by the end of the month?

Fantastic advice! Small incremental steps work in every business and particularly construction and engineering.

3. Make it measurable. Every athlete in the games was driven by measurable targets to within milliseconds or millimetres. Do the same for your business. Establish targets for yourself and your staff that will stretch you and hold yourselves to account against those metrics.

A bit trickier this, but you can apply it to the small things as well as the big things. A small thing might be how quickly your team answers the phone (aim for within 3 rings), or a big thing might be a 15% increase in your turnover by the end of 2013.

4.You don’t get anywhere without heart. Energy, passion, conviction, enthusiasm. Whatever you choose to call it, the athletes who’ve made it to Olympic level are passionate about what they do. There’s no point running a business unless you are prepared to throw your energies into it. Enthusiasm infects and fires up employees and customers alike, whilst a lack of conviction can have the converse effect.

This is a tough one; as Specialist Sub-Contractors you have been having the s*** kicked out of you for so long now that it’s hard to be passionate any more.

My advice is to come and join our exclusive group of 1,000 other Specialist Sub-Contractors in our LinkedIn group. Here’s the link; StreetwiseSubbies On LinkedIn. You will see that there are things that can be done and people are still passionate about their business. Let us help you to get that fire back in your belly!

5.Don’t give up when the going gets tough. Some of our Team GB medal winning athletes didn’t receive any funding from the Lottery. Some have been through terrible family tragedy or horrific injuries. But they kept at it. Tenacity, dedication and resilience are as vital in business as they are in sport. There will be knockbacks (they’re part of the package) but don’t let them destroy you. Learn from them if you can, recover as quickly as you can and then move on. It’ll make your victory all the sweeter when you attain your business goals.

Here’s another biggy! And to some extent it’s linked to the last point. When the going gets tough the tough get going – and you can get going again by calling us or emailing us. You can find our details below and remember our initial advice is free!

6. Dare to be unorthodox. The Olympic Games are full of stories of people who’ve challenged convention, from Jesse Owens to Dick Fosbury to Oscar Pistorius, the “Blade Runner” who took on the Olympic authorities to participate in the 2012 games. Sometimes the way things have always been done needs to be shaken up to achieve competitive advantage. Some of the best business ideas have been formed by challenging received wisdoms and changing the rules of the game. As Henry Ford said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they’d have said faster horses.”

StreetwiseSubbie is unorthodox in that it provides you with access to good honest advice and expertise from real people who genuinely understand your business, at an affordable price. And with our Gold Buddy monthly subscription package you actually get more than you pay for. How much more unorthodox can you get?

7.  Keep your eyes on the prize. Focus is absolutely essential to becoming an elite athlete. These people know what they want and go after it single-mindedly. Having clarity of vision allows you to know what you’re supposed to be doing and enables you to become consumed by it. Focus also means learning how to say no, as Steve Jobs pointed out, and on concentrating on what actually matters to the game plan. It means exercising a huge amount of discipline and making sacrifices to achieve what you really want. An important and a tough lesson, whether you’re building a great business or winning Olympic medals.

As Deborah says, an important and tough lesson. We can help you to focus on what’s really important.

8. Train your brain.  Training consistently over many years is what propelled the athletes we saw in the games from gifted individuals to Olympians at the pinnacles of their sports. Continuous, regular effort is the only way to achieve results. In the same way, keep pushing yourself in business. Keep edging forward towards your goals, keep challenging yourself and your staff and most importantly, keep learning. “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other,” said JFK.

We can provide training in the traditional sense if that’s what you want. But working with our national team of consultants is an ongoing training experience for you and your team. Let us reveal not only what to do to make your business better, but also how you can do it for yourself.

9.  If you build it, they will come. Top athletes believe in themselves and their abilities unequivocally and set a high bar to achieve their dreams. They use techniques such as visualisation to work through fears, get themselves in the right mindset and overcome limiting beliefs. In the same way, in business it can help to “act as if”. Believe you’re already the best in your business, act as though you are and offer the service to match. It costs nothing to have self-belief, so what do you have to lose? As William James said: “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”

What we do at StreetwiseSubbie is definitely making a positive difference to the business lives of our Buddies. Why not check us out and see how we can make a positive difference in your business life?

10.  Performance is all that matters. Here’s a good quote to finish on. “Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” So said Vince Lombardi, a famous coach in American football. Ultimately as a business all your customers really care about is your performance – and so should you. Whether you’re a world class athlete or a great business person, you need to deliver consistently excellent performance, time after time after time. That’s how you’ll be judged. But perhaps by taking a few lessons from the excellence demonstrated by our Olympians and by putting a few of their disciplines into practice, you’ll be giving yourself and your business a good chance of delivering a top class, gold medal winning performance.

Why not give yourself the best possible chance of achieving your very own top class gold medal performance by enlisting the help of the StreetwiseSubbie team? After all we are already helping lots of other Specialist Sub-Contractors just like you to achieve winning results!

So, there we have it 10 great ideas that you can apply in the real world of Construction and Engineering. If you would like more information about any of the above or the great ways in which we can help your business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Best regards

Barry

P.S.  To see how we can help you achieve your objectives and enhance your business performance take a quick look here.

P.P.S.
 Remember that our LinkedIn group is free to join and almost 1,000 other Sub-Contractors are protecting their commercial and contractual interests and win more orders. It’s free and easy to join, so come on over, you can find us here; StreetwiseSubbies on LinkedIn

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Are Contractors Destroying Your Business?

Quick 10 Question Survey

It Seems that every day brings another bleak headline for the UK construction industry.

And it is the Specialist Sub-Contractors who are suffering most. Here’s another example hot off the press from Construction Enquirer;

“… specialist contractors warn that late payment, zero or very poor margins and main contractor insolvency remain serious threats to their business over the next six months.

Half the 228 contractors surveyed by trade body B&ES said tender prices were lower than they were six months ago – and that, while labour costs had remained more or less static, there had been a significant increase in the cost of materials.”

That’s just part of the story and we want your help as a UK Specialist Sub-Contractor to take a few minutes to complete our own on-line survey.