What can Businesses Learn from Arsenal's Striker Crisis?

Arsene Wenger has a problem. Does he stick or twist? What I mean by that is does he accept that January is a bad time to buy a new striker? Maybe the right footballers aren’t available. They may be too expensive now. But he needs to cover his injury crisis with Giroud, Walcott and Bendtner out injured? Does he trust that his midfielders will pitch in with goals and hope that Giroud will be back shortly (as the media suggests) with Bendtner back within a month or so? These are big decisions that could make or break Arsenal’s title bid. The difference between winning the title and Top 4.

So what has this remotely got to do with your business?

I believe that there are some interesting parallels. First, winning the Premiership Title is like achieving your business goals. Finishing top 4 may be okay. Status quo. Maintaining what you’ve got. Scoring the goals is like the act of winning of new business i.e. new clients and new business development. The strikers? Well, they are your new business developers. And the midfielders? Perhaps they are your managers who aren’t really new business rainmakers but you might send them out networking or get them working on lead generation to try to ‘score the goals’.

Arsene Wenger has been known to say that finishing Top 4 is like winning a trophy. That may or may not be true. If Top 4 is status quo for the Gunners, perhaps that’s like businesses working hard to retain their current clients. Maybe that will maintain their status quo and current revenue and profit levels. But what happens if you start to lose a few clients (lose a few games)? What happens if your competitors get stronger as they have clearly done over Arsenal’s 8 barren years without a trophy?

It may be that it won’t be your fault. In football parlance, maybe it was a bad refereeing decision that cost you the game. Either way, you start to slip down the table or lose share against your competitors.

Arsene Wenger has a big decision to make. Does he invest for ultimate success or does he make do? For Arsenal, now is the time. The first time in 8 years when there is a genuine opportunity to win, to succeed, and to improve their position. Success breeds success. This is like UK PLC as we start to emerge from recession. Suddenly, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Opportunities are emerging. Do you invest for growth or stay with a more cautious approach that has kept you going through recession.

Being a lifelong Arsenal supporter, my belief is that we need to spend to consolidate our position at the top of the current table (at least as I write this blog!) and to go for glory this season. Of course, there is no guarantee. Competitors will also reinforce and they may do it in January rather than wait until the end of the season. Maybe you’re waiting for triggers in your business or industry. In the Premiership, Man City and Chelsea are already strong. But my team has a real chance of success. I believe that’s also the case for businesses that are brave as we come out of the recession gloom. Companies are starting to spend again. Consumers are venturing out. How ready will your business be to take advantage? Do you have the sales resource (the strikers) to put the ball in the back of the net (to win the business)? Do you have the midfielders (marketing and business development skills) to create the chances?

For Arsenal, it doesn’t have to be a permanent move. Arsene is looking at both permanent recruits and loan moves. In business, that’s about either taking someone on board as a full time employee or perhaps bringing an outsource agency in to do the job. There is no right or wrong. It’s what works for your business.

Perhaps your business is at the same crossroads as Arsenal Football Club. What’s my view? As I said earlier, I believe that now is the time to go for glory. There has never been a better time over the last few years. The tide is turning.

As for us at GSA, we have got our foot to the floor. We are getting a lot more new business enquiries. Companies are certainly recognising that if they can’t drive new business themselves they need a professional lead generation agency to deliver new business opportunities. We help those businesses go for glory.

And Arsenal? Sadly, I can’t help them even though I kick every ball and nod every cross into the net from my sofa. But Arsene Wenger is paid £7 million per annum to run the Arsenal ‘business’. He has to make the decisions and be judged on the outcome. You manage your business, what are you going to do?

If you’d like to find out how GSA Business Development can help Generate Growth for your Business contact us today.

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