Some of you may be aware that I have recently completed the 3 peaks challenge – o.k. so it was over three days i.e. a mountain a day, rather than over a 24 hours, but anyone who has climbed Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon knows it is not a walk in the park.
In fact, the preparation and subsequent sponsorship collection was one of the reasons why there has been a little break in ‘bright business thoughts’ production!
Anyway, I got to thinking that the 3 peaks challenge was definitely a metaphor for good business practices. I’ll explain.
Firstly, the trip had to be properly planned. With 26 people all looking to be fed and find hotel rooms Richard Cussell (the ‘managing director’ of our little jaunt) had a lot of organising to do – not least using his connections to bag us a coach and driver. Keeping an eye on the goal – which was not just to complete the challenge but to raise as much money for the Nepal Trust – helped enormously.
From a business perspective having a clear strategy with identified goals is crucial to success.
On a personal level I also ensured I was prepared. I lost some weight so I didn’t have to carry so much up and down the mountains. I told lots of people what I was doing to maximise my sponsorship money. And, finally, I made sure I had the correct kit to make the trip as comfortable as I could for myself.
Again, in business cutting out dead wood, marketing yourself properly, and ensuring you have the right staff and equipment to do the job, are key to maximising your potential.
During the course of the four days several of the people walking (fortunately not me) were plagued by aching knees (one lady could barely walk coming down Scafell Pike) and large blisters. But they kept on going and did not give up regardless of the temptation to do so. Consequently pretty much everyone completed the challenge in full.
In business tenacity and perseverance in the face of a challenging environment is very important. If you are not prepared to work hard and focus on your end goals you will very likely fall at the first hurdle.
Finally, on returning home we all had the job of pulling in the sponsorship money from our supporters – we are up to £5,000 and counting.
Follow through is absolutely key in business. If you don’t follow up on enquires and leads, invoice and chase outstanding debts promptly, or deal with customer issues on a timely basis your business will suffer. Do all these things well and your business will thrive.