As captain Ben Stokes led the England cricket team out for the first Test of the series against New Zealand at Lord’s on 2 June, you can forgive some of the English players for any nervousness they may have been feeling.
England were coming off the back off a horrendous run of form, having won just once in their previous 17 matches.
Those nerves arguably showed in the first innings of the first Test too, with the team ending up on just 141 all out.
And yet, despite the circumstances, Stokes and co will now likely remember this series particularly fondly. In fact, England romped to victory by seven wickets on the final day of the third Test at Headingley, winning the series 3-0.
Indeed, batter Jonny Bairstow was particularly buoyant in an interview with Sky Sports after a stunning display on the second day of that final Test, with the Yorkshireman ending the day on 130 not out.
England’s cavalier, no-nonsense attitude to this series provides some great insight into the mindset of how champions approach moments like these. And indeed, this is the kind of attitude you could use in your business.
So, find out five lessons business owners can take away from the most recent England Test series.
- Let adversity be nothing but a hurdle
The first lesson to learn is that adversity is not a roadblock, but rather a hurdle for you to overcome.
On the third afternoon of the first Test at Lord’s, it could be argued that England looked to be suffering from the hangover of their poor form, standing at what looked to be a terminal 69-4.
Yet rather than allowing these facts to fully pull them under, some outstanding batting from Joe Root (helped by teammates Stokes and Foakes in particular) allowed England to recover, ultimately winning the Test by five wickets.
You can’t allow a seemingly bleak outlook to dissuade you, just as Root refused to. Instead, you need to be willing to treat moments of difficulty as simply problems to solve, battles to fight, and challenges to overcome.
This is particularly poignant in these current market conditions, where costs are rising and businesses across the country are having to adapt.
So, do it. Find ways to adapt, whether that’s by reviewing your company investments to combat the effects of rising inflation or changing how you derive income from your business to make it more tax-efficient.
Whatever you decide to do, there are plenty of ways for you to manage in volatile conditions.
And remember: Root’s comeback depended on his teammates being there to support him.
Having a reliable team around you is an important part of success, so working with an expert such as a financial planner to help you guide through such difficult times can be invaluable.
2. Good things come to those who wait – and work
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a Test match is rarely won in a first innings. That’s why this recent Test series shows you the importance of putting the time and effort into building your business.
Think about Joe Root’s personal achievements in this series. At Lord’s on 5 June, Root completed a century that moved him onto 10,000 career Test runs which, as of July 2022, makes him just one of 14 players to do so.
Root is only the second English player to achieve this remarkable feat, with Sir Alastair Cook having done the same in 2016. Strangely, Root was the exact age to the day as Cook was when he did the same – 31 years and 157 days.
It may feel like Root’s magnificent achievement is a given, considering how influential a batter he has been for England.
But for him, it has been years in the making, a culmination of blood, sweat, and tears across a career where he has put in the time and the hard work.
In the same way, your business is a long-term undertaking. To achieve what you want in it, you need to be willing to expend the same time, energy, and dedication.
Don’t be afraid of it taking a long time. After all, as no doubt Joe Root will attest, good things come to those who wait.
3. Reward your customers
It’s strange to think that it wasn’t Root’s personal achievements that received the biggest cheer at a half-empty Lord’s at the end of day four of the first Test.
Rather, it was the celebrations of fans hearing that they’d be receiving their money back after not seeing a full day’s play.
Lord’s policy dictates that supporters are refunded half their tickets if they see less than 30 overs, and the entire amount if they see less than 15.
As Root polished the Test off with the first ball of the 14th over, it confirmed that those in attendance would be seeing their money returned.
No doubt Marylebone Cricket Club were a little less enthused.
But in many ways, it was a fitting reward for those who had come to support England and watch just over an hour’s play in misty conditions.
The lesson here is in rewarding your customers for their loyalty. Provide similar rewards to your customers where you can. Offer loyal customers perks, whether that’s discounts or even the occasional freebie for their years of patronage.
Indeed, Trent Bridge even offered free tickets for day five of the second Test to ensure a full house, a decision that the team acknowledged as a help in achieving their record run chase.
Loyalty is an under-appreciated trait in customers, but it can be a powerful relationship. Those lucky fans who were present in St John’s Wood or Nottingham on those days will likely be coming back for another Test match when they can.
4. Back your staff – and put them in the right place
Another key lesson to take from these displays, and from Bairstow’s comments in particular, is that you need to back your staff to succeed.
Here’s Bairstow, as quoted by Reuters: “We want to allow people to express themselves and that will bring the best out of them.”
The same is true for your staff. It’s a learned skill to let go of the reins and give your employees a chance.
But, if you can do so and offer them the freedom to truly express themselves, you’ll see that they’re able to do their best work.
Indeed, Joe Root is another shining example of how this works, after stepping down as England captain.
As reported by the BBC, Root himself admitted to having a “very unhealthy relationship” with the captaincy.
But, as noted above, he went on to have a stunning series back in the ranks, equalling a record that very few batters will achieve in their careers.
Trusting your staff and putting them in the right positions is a sure-fire way to allow them to do their best work.
5. Express yourself in your business
Perhaps the most valuable lesson that these recent Tests can teach you as a business owner is to adopt a similarly cavalier approach to your work.
England grew into this Test series and ultimately got their swagger back, playing with a gloriously liberated freedom.
Just as you should allow your staff to express themselves in their work, you need to give yourself this same freedom, too.
In other words, unapologetically be yourself.
The reality is that some people will love you, your business, and what you do, while others will feel this less so.
Customers can smell insincerity, and it can be off-putting to work with someone who has a façade.
The key is to remember that it’s okay not to be everyone’s cup of tea. You need to work with your tribe and be true to your principles to achieve the best results.
Just ask Root, Stokes, Bairstow, or any other member of the England team.
Get in touch
One area of your business that you shouldn’t need to worry about is money. So, if you’d like expert help with your finances, please get in touch with us at Henwood Court.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0121 313 1370 to find out how we can help you.