A Golfing Analogy for Entrepreneurs - by Ravi Patel



Being somewhat of a golf enthusiast, I am taking the liberty of applying golfing analogy to Entrepreneurs intending to grow their businesses.


As you get ready to play a round of golf, you must check your golf bag to ensure that you have 14 clubs and they are the right combination for your game. Similarly, Entrepreneurs must verify that all the tools and resources needed to grow their specific businesses - such as the right people; a solid management team; correct product/service and market strategy; efficient business processes; financial capability; appropriate infrastructure are all in place and ready to go.


The driver is normally the first club off the tee. It is also the most difficult to master. Same in business. The vision  (or driver) for the business is of ultimate importance for an Entrepreneur. Similar to a golf driver, it is often the most difficult to create and work with. But once, you know how to use it, the driver gets you in the middle of the fairway ready for the next shot. If an Entrepreneur can develop the correct vision for his/her organization, it allows the company to  be in a great position to take the next steps for growth.


The long irons are also difficult for most amateurs to hit consistently. Constant practice and refinement of the swing helps the golfer play these irons confidently. The long term business plans for the company are also diffcult to prepare given the uncertain economy and three to five year time frame. With time and repeated learning cycles, the Entreprenuer can learn to refine the long-term planning process for better road maps for growth.


The medium and short irons are the golfer's bread and butter.  These irons, if played well, allow the golfer to reach the green with consistent accuracy. Successful Entrepreneurs need to master the preparation of the annual operating plans and budgeting process to make sure that their companies can deliver consistent results and meet established objectives (reaching the green).


The wedges not only help the golfer get close to the pin, but also allow recovery from the sand or rough. In business, Entrepreneurs who have developed crisis management plans and recovery tools most often turn challenges into successes. The short game is what separates the so-so golfers from the great ones. Entrepreneurs with management teams that can develop and execute pinpoint action plans never fail to deliver.


The putter is where golf matches are won and lost. Look at Tiger Woods. I rest my case! Perfecting the short and long putts and avoiding three-putts saves the golfer valuable strokes in improving their score. The Entrepreneur, with the management team, needs to develop and implement business processes that continually improve to produce consistent results. Avoiding mistakes (three-putts or more) and delivering quality results most efficiently and cost-effectively (two putts or less) will definitely improve you financial performance (score).


Although golf is considered a pastime and waste of natural resources and time, there are a lot of valuable learning lessons for Entrepreneurs, not to mention the enjoyment and camaraderie that it affords.


Keep your eyes focused on the ball, whichever one you are looking at  - in golfing or business!


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