Are you a fantasy business player?

It’s that time of the year. Fantasy football is just really getting traction with those of us who like to spend too much time doing those things. Each week you change your lineup and jockey for position to pick up some of the best bargains that no one identified yet. You constantly examine the competition to see where there are strengths, weakness, threats, and opportunities. You occasionally talk some trash to stir up the league and make sure that you are viewed as the lead dog in the “dog eat dog” world of fantasy football competition. You look at those teams ahead of you and wonder just how they go there. You are totally immersed in finding a way to get to the top of the heap so you can be the victor. Sounds intense right? If only you looked at your business or job the same way.

How often do you change your lineup with your business? Whether you are a business owner or an employee, there are areas that can always be spruced up a bit. Sometimes it’s a change that can give your business that shot in the arm that is needed to get over a hump or to get through a slow period. While it might seem silly to equate fantasy football with business, they are fundamentally the same with respect to change. Every week brings a new set of circumstances, like market forces in business or injuries in football, which completely change the competitive landscape and require quick action for success moving forward. If you fail to adapt to the changing competitive environment each week, you can be passed up and forgotten. How often are you changing, and what is the cost for just staying the course?
Are you constantly looking at the competition and seeing how you shape up when you perform the ol’ SWOT analysis? Many business folks get so myopic that they forget to survey the land, so to speak. Many think that if you have found a groove or a niche that it will always be there. That’s the business equivalent of taking your eye off the ball. You get so confident that you will score that you forget to do the basics. Then the competition comes up and cleans your clock. Ask any quarterback how much fun it is to be blindsided. No one likes it. Well, when you have not paid close enough attention to the competition in your business, you end up on the injured reserve list. It’s when you are on the sidelines that the competition will take it to you.
Are you telling people about how good you are? There is a difference between talking trash and just getting some attention. While it’s often a thin line between the two, many business folks don’t even try to ride it and it just leaves room for someone else to get mind share. Let’s face it, in our society of the “squeaky wheel gets the grease” you have to make some noise whether you like it or not. Oftentimes, just the shear act of “stirring things up” (e.g., blogging and other social media…hint, hint) can get you recognition even if you are not the best. I am not advocating being a dolt and going out and screaming about how good you are. If you decide to tell folks, you better be able to back it up. Don’t be the last place team that thinks it should be in first but has had some bad breaks. If you’re good, you should talk about it a bit but do it so you don’t look like Terrell Owens.
Are you analyzing the competition to see exactly what they are doing right? If someone is ahead of you then you should be working real hard to see where they succeed and you stumble. This has to be done week in and week out just like being in a fantasy football league. If you just sit back and say “Oh well, it’s not my week” or even worse “My team is OK as is and will bounce back next week” then you are essentially throwing in the towel.
As I look back on these different points I see how it applies in my business of search marketing. I better pay attention to what keywords I am playing and if they are performing for me or my client. I better be looking at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that my clients face on each playing field (such as the search engine result pages for each individual keyword phrase). I better make sure that my client is telling the searchers the benefits of working with them. I better be looking at how those who are ahead of my client in the search results, identifying why they are there and what I need to emulate or change on my client’s behalf.
That’s how to be a fantasy business player. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get ready for my next game. See ya!

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