Business Building Lessons From a Surfer

As I looked out over the peaceful beach I noticed a lone surfer enjoying the thrills of riding the waves. The water was challenging because the waves weren’t very high – there wasn’t much to ride on and yet, this surfer was making the most of it. Time after time he caught a wave and rode it all the way in to the shore. I observed something special about this particular surfer – something that enabled him to get the same successful result even in difficult conditions.  The knowledge and application of this secret is what separates many successful businesses from those that perpetually struggle.

Business building lessons from a surferWhat is it that separates those surfers who catch the wave every time from those that only catch it some of the time? What is it that separates the businesses that oscillate between feast and famine from those who are reaping the abundance?  The answer is systems.  This star surfer had a good system and he stuck with it on each and every ride.

The specific details of implementation are different between one field and the next, but the underlying reasons for the degree of success or failure can easily be categorized.  Those who are highly successful and repeat their success over and over again have the right systems in place.

Systems for Production

Systems are absolutely essential for consistently performing at a high level of efficiency.  McDonald’s, for example, is famous for the systems that they have in place.  Their systems have allowed them to outperform all of their competitors!  Far from being boring or a waste of time, the development and then the tweaking of systems is a large part of the reason for the success that they have enjoyed over the last half century.

In order for you to get the full benefit of systems in your business, those systems must be committed to paper and then reviewed and tweaked from time to time.  Having your systems committed to memory and not paper will hobble your ability to grow and train others efficiently.

Systems for Marketing

The hallmark of those that oscillate between feast and famine is the lack of systems in place for bringing in new clients.  You might say that they bring in new clients on occasion with random acts of marketing.  Not a formula for success!  New clients are the life blood of your business. Having systems in place to bring new clients in is just as important as having systems in place for the performance of your service or the production of your product.

What systems do you currently have in place to attract new clients? The right Internet strategy can fill your pipeline with your ideal clients.  Invest time in putting the right systems in place or tap the right people who can do it for you.  With the right systems in place, the results become predictable.  You can count on them – day in and day out.

Assignment: What is one system that you could put in place in your business in the next month that would improve your results and/or free up valuable time?

  • Eric July 8, 2012, 1:30 pm

    I just finished reading the latest edition of “Guerilla Marketing” by Jay Conrad Levinson. It is good to review the basics and now is the time for me to commit a marketing plan to paper. Will be calling on you soon for website changes.

    • Charles July 11, 2012, 5:00 pm

      Great book Eric. Look forward to talking with you again soon.

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