The second half…

Now that we are past the half-way stage of the year many businesses will be looking at their performance in the first half and wondering if they can improve things in the second half.

Even in many amateur sports most teams and individuals have a half-time assessment, look at their performance and decide what they need to change for the 2nd half.   Besides the actual score other factors such as the amount of possession, tactics, defence and attack policies, weaknesses & strengths of our own team as well as those of the opposition all have to be taken into account.   Team sports for instance have analyses of team & individual performance on possession, shots on and off target and player’s speed, distance covered by individual players etc.

Unfortunately some businesses don’t even know the score at half time score for quite a long period afterwards.   Without it they cannot have a good judgement of how well their tactics are doing or assess their real strengths, weaknesses or further opportunities lie.   This analysis does not take place weeks or months after a game – It happens on the spot and particularly at half time when there’s an opportunity to change things for the future.

The notion that sport is ‘only just a game’ is long forgotten in most competitive sports, amateur and professional.

When we look at business however and see the lack of measurement of many critical performance measures in some businesses it would be very easy to think business performance measurements are not taken as seriously as in sport.  The reality for many businesses is that they don’t have any real indicators of their performance until months after their year end, never mind any half-time assessment.  If a Martian landed on earth and looked at the performance measures commonly used in amateur sports and also looked at those used in some businesses they might very well be confused as to which is ‘only a game’ an which is the ‘serious’ business.    Of course all business owners make the best efforts at running their business but in many cases the critical analysis and assessments of where improvements can be made is missing. In some cases the assessments might be done by those playing without any outside involvement.

In business a half-time review is not just about calculating the score.    It’s a matter of finding ways to improve things in the second half.  It’s about looking for ways to increase sales, improve margins, increase cash flow, cut costs and finding where opportunities are won and lost.  It might be time to consider different tactics and perhaps a change in direction?   Perhaps it’s time to introduce a substitute such as a different product or service or perhaps move one of your team into a different area where they can make a bigger contribution and achieve some real scores.

Even at this point in mid-July the top teams have already reviewed their first half performance, re-assessed their market and competitors , where they’ve done good and poorly in the first half and where they can really score in the second half.    They are already well on track for implementing these changes.

Here’s hoping your business has a good second half.

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