Business is a lot like Sports. Warning – Don’t play like the Buffalo Bills. When you have a business model that works, it’s easy to decide not to change anything. Take the case of the Buffalo Bills. In week four they entered a game with the New England Patriots in an unusual position. They were a game ahead in the standings and were playing at home. The first half went quite well and the Bills led 21-7 early in the third quarter. Things were rolling along nicely. In business it’s easy to become complacent when things are going well. Warning – when things are going well, it almost never continues as long as you expect it to.
For the Patriots however, things were not going well. Bill Belichick knew a change was needed. The Patriot’s original game plan wasn’t working, so he made adjustments. The Patriots then posted 45 points to the Bills 7 over the remaining quarter and a half. The Bills did not react in time and the competition ate their lunch, and dinner, too. The Bills entered the Danger Zone very quickly, mostly because they became complacent and thought things would continue as they had for the first two and a half quarters. The competition changed the game on them. Before they could react, they were so far behind the game was over in a blowout.
In business, the game can change just as quickly. Sometimes it is a competitor making adjustments, other times it can be changes in technologies affecting your industry or changes in the markets you sell to. Either way, you always need to be ready to react to changing conditions. In business, a loss like this could be devastating – more than just one for the loss column. It could mean the end of your business. Be proactive. Stay on top of the changes affecting your industry and your business. Better yet – explore changes you can make to change the game in your industry – to put you at a competitive advantage.