What Do Businesses and the Grand National Have in Common?

[Paolo Camera under CC 2.0]


No that isn’t the lead up to a bad joke, we’re genuinely interested in what businesses have in common with horse racing. At face value there seems to be very little similarities between these two as they are literally worlds apart… or are they?

Watching the Grand National got us thinking that owning and racing horses is very similar to owning and running a business. Want to see how?

It’s a major investment

Whether you’re ploughing cash into a horse or a company, you’re taking a gamble that everything works out and you see a return on your investment. But the comparison here is more than just a simple investment, because businesses and horses aren’t like stocks and shares.

There are stats and figures that you can look at to see whether or not your horse or business will succeed. Putting more time and money and having the best people working for you, with the best equipment available, will enable you to make the best of what you have.

Stiff competition

There is no better visual metaphor for how strong the competition is for a business, than the Grand National. Everybody is aiming to be the very best at what they do, trying to push the limits in every way possible.

Some businesses start off great but burn out too quickly, some maintain a good pace and come in at a respectable place but they aren’t anything special. A few businesses show lots of promise but end up falling at a difficult hurdle and some companies that don’t start well make a surprise turn and end up being at the top of the board.

Sound familiar? That’s because instead of theoretically seeing how you stack up the competition you can actually see how the competition stacks up neck to neck.

Little things have huge impacts

[Tpower1978 under CC 2.0]

Jockey jokes aside, it is amazing the impact that one little decision can have on the overall impact of a business. You may decide to slow before a hurdle and make it or charge it full steam, both of these tactics have pros and cons with either option helping or preventing you from winning the race.

Similarly with business you can take the decision to properly analyse an issue or attack it head on and see what happens. It could be that if you stop to analyse then a competitor may pass you, but a quicker, more direct approach could end up being extremely costly putting the company in jeopardy.

Branding makes a lot of difference

What’s the easiest way to recognise your horse when it’s hurtling full pelt towards the finish line? The colour shirt the jockey is wearing of course! Everything is at such a fast pace and everyone looks so similar that there needs to be a specific image that the audience can focus on.

The same is true of businesses, without branding to help set you apart from the rest you just become a blur that’s indistinguishable from the next business. Good branding gives your target audience something to focus on, allowing them to connect with you even in a fast-paced business world where things change all the time.

Lots of winners

There may only be 40 horses in the race with one overall winner, but the reality is that the real winners of the Grand National are the people who took a chance on you. Just as stocks benefit investors when the business does well, people betting on a horse reap the rewards when their horse comes through.

In addition to that, when the horse or business does well then the owner and everyone working behind the scenes benefits. This could be a share of the race winnings/ company profits, a pay rise or even being headhunted by a competitor based on your outstanding performance.

It’s hard work

Last but not least, running a business or owning a horse is ruddy hard work. You really need to put the hours in, analyse your competitors, find the best people to work for you, manage the finances and most importantly ensure that you’re successful.

This isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone, in fact, you need to be a very determined person in order to make this investment pay off. Sometimes you enter into a business/ horse accidentally …by bidding at an auction when drunk  … but more likely than not it is something you’ve always dreamed of doing.

If you’re ready to enter the race with your prize-winning business, then get in touch today so we can talk you through your financial options.

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