What Companies Can Learn from Super Bowl Winners
BY Chris Wolford
Selling your company can be like the winning the Super Bowl. Here's how it's done.
Every kid playing on a little league football team, and every NFL pro, dreams of someday playing in the Super Bowl. For many, playing in a Super Bowl is a once-in-a-lifetime shot at greatness. If you are a business owner, your Super Bowl takes place when you have the opportunity to monetize the lifetime investment you have made in your company and come out a winner. What does it take to win your Super Bowl?
Envision the win.
Both Denver and Seattle have great owners who have made the right strategic and tactical decisions. They hired the right coaches, drafted the right players and built a winning team, with one goal in mind--win the Super Bowl.
Business owners should follow the same plan. Have a solid vision of where you want to go. Hire the best talent you can afford and never forget your ultimate goal--to be able to monetize your lifetime investment and come out a winner!
Hire world class coaches.
Winning NFL owners hire great coaches and empower them to do what they do best--coach. These coaches are specialists at what they do. Offensive coordinators plan the attack. Defensive coordinators keep the competition from scoring.
Savvy business owners hire a balanced team of executives that understand their vision and possess the skills needed to manage the day-to-day operations and lead a winning team. They hire experienced sales managers, skilled marketing leaders and proven human resources, financial and operations leaders. The skills and abilities of your key executives will impact the ultimate value of your company. They are critical in winning your Super Bowl and securing maximum value for your company.
Assemble a winning team.
While the team wins, often the difference in who wins and who loses in the Super Bowl comes down to the contribution made by individual players. Super Bowl winning NFL owners fully recognize the true value of every player on their roster. They know their quarterback must be a leader on the field and execute flawlessly. However, they also realize that the quarterback can’t perform if he doesn’t have the ball or if the offensive line doesn’t provide the QB adequate protection. They also know that specialty teams often win big games.
Business owners should also realize that while the sales force is critical, your top sales rep can’t perform if quality declines, deadlines are missed and customers aren’t happy. And you can’t build a business without HR recruiting and training great talent. Additionally, if you don’t know where you stand financially you will never win. Lastly, the guy you hired 30 years ago who isn’t in management but knows how to keep your production running is just as important in the big game as the kicker who splits the uprights with the winning field goal. To win, you must build the best team and ensure they are trained and ready for your Super Bowl.
Know your competition.
Super Bowl teams spend thousands of hours studying the competition. They know what they will do in every situation.
Wise business owners study and know who the competition is and they create products and services that thwart the competition so they succeed.
You may only get one shot--Dan Marino played in the NFL for 17 years. He played in three AFC Championship games, but he only got one shot at winning a Super Bowl. Like many business owners he thought he would get a second chance. It never happened. Industry professionals will caution you that your first attempt at selling your company will probably be your best opportunity. You will approach your highest priority buyers first and if they pass, they may never take another look regardless of how well you’ve cleaned up the balance sheet or reorganized your management team. Do it right the first time!
As a business owner you have to plan and prepare for your Super Bowl. You can’t afford to miss the opportunity. You can’t afford to lose. You also have to recognize when you should enter the Super Bowl competition. If you have built a winning team and are on top make sure don’t miss your opportunity to get in the big game. The opportunity may not come around again. Ask Dan Marino!
CHRIS WOLFORD has more than 15 years of financial services experience as a trusted advisor to middle market businesses and individuals. Includes roles in: investment banking, private equity, management consulting, real estate, financial advisory and insurance. @MiddleMktMandA