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To be the best you need to invest

 Published on: 24th August 2016   |   By: Nik Allen

I promise this is the last time I bang my drum about Team GB’s successes at Rio.

But it’s really worth taking a couple of minutes to look at HOW they succeeded and WHAT they did to turn us from abject failures in Atlanta 1996 (1 Gold Medal) to record breaking superheroes at Rio 2016 (27 Gold medals!!).

Success leaves clues, just as failure does.

And you wouldn’t have to be Poirot to work out that the journey for Team GB began after Atlanta in 1996 when money from the National Lottery was pumped into a wide range of elite sports programmes.

Millions of pounds have come from punters trying to win their own pot of gold and at the same time making it possible for our athletes to have a proper chance at winning their sports highest honour.

We’ve become powerhouses in cycling, rowing and slowly but surely gymnastics. We got a larger spread of medals across the range of sports than any other country at the games.

Most experts put it ultimately down to two things.

Big and sustained investment allied to an attention to detail.

This is something anyone in business can really learn from.

If you are holding off spending money on revamping your old website you’re making a mistake.

If you don’t see advertising as an investment in raising your businesses’ profile you’re making another mistake.

And if you fail to invest in your team through training and developing them yet again you’re making what I’ve learned through experience is a costly mistake.

But it’s not just big money and investment that’s led to our nation’s huge sporting successes recently.

The attention to detail applied by our elite sporting coaches is something I’m in awe of.

Every area is looked at, analysed, re-analysed and then stripped down to see how they can improve across the board.

This marginal gain approach was made popular by the cycling team and has now been adopted as Team GB’s modus operandi. The devils (or should that be medals) are in the details.

Bringing it back to business it’s often the finer details that set companies apart.

The genuine ‘how can I help you?’ rather than a forced ‘alright’.

The unexpected gift from a supplier for being a loyal customer.

The email signature that highlights the special offer of the month.

As the old business saying goes ‘it all fails without sales’. I’d like to add my own version of this nugget ‘the sales are in the details.’

Thanks for reading and thanks to everyone involved in Team GB for making this summer a sporting sizzler.



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