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A successful business and the game of hockey have a lot in common. Each stresses the importance of teamwork, focuses on achieving goals, and celebrates victories.
Hockey started in Canada in the late nineteenth century, so it is no wonder the sport accumulated many fun facts throughout its existence. Even a successful business can learn from these standout hockey moments. Here are seven wacky hockey facts every successful business should know.
Wacky Hockey Fact #1 –
The first hockey pucks were frozen patties of cow poop.
While no one knows for certain how this idea came to be, it seems likely it grew out of necessity. Hockey evolved from the field game Hurley in the primarily rural Essex County area of Southern Ontario. Players probably resorted to the frozen poop since it was plentiful and free. It is clear players had a passion for the game to resort to such measures.
While the hockey puck has evolved and players no longer deal with this “original material”, most business owners deal with plenty of “poop”, especially in the beginning on their journey to success.
Successful business owners know the game won’t come naturally to them in the beginning. They’ll need to learn skills such as cash flow and time management, marketing, and how to grow their business on a tight budget. You may set goals, fall short, and deal with difficult customers.
Nonetheless, a business owner must have the burning desire to succeed. They find better pucks, improve their skills, and play a better game.
Wacky Hockey Fact #2 –
When the Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup in 1924 players stashed the Cup in the trunk and drove to their victory party. Unfortunately, they had a flat, pulled the trophy out of the trunk for the spare, and left the trophy. Luckily, it was still sitting in a snow bank when they returned later that night.
There’s no doubt – when you run a business you’re going to make mistakes. Consider what these champions did when they realized their prized cup wasn’t in the trunk.
They analyzed the situation and recognized what they’d done wrong. They didn’t leave the Stanley Cup sitting in the snowbank overnight. They took immediate action to rectify the situation.
Business owners can follow the same process and “analyze and recognize” what went wrong when they make a mistake. Retrace your steps, look at where you fell short and what you did right, and then find a new way to proceed so you don’t repeat the same mistake.
Google has this down to an art. It’s not about assigning blame – it’s about finding ways to ensure the Cup never sits in a snowbank again.
Wacky Hockey Fact #3 –
Before 1914, referees set the puck down on the ice between the players’ sticks during face-offs. This led to many referee cuts and bruises as players scrambled for the puck. Later, the rules changed and referees dropped the puck instead.
The league recognized that the traditional face-off strategy wasn’t working well and was actually jeopardizing the referees. They changed the rules to make the game safer, without losing the excitement of the face-off.
It’s equally important that a business owner recognizes when something isn’t working in their business. If you’re working many hours, but aren’t generating profits it can impact your health, work quality, attitude, and ultimately have a successful business. However, change can be daunting.
You may not know why your strategy isn’t working or what to do about it. A good business mentor may be able to see the problem when you can’t.
Alternatively, look to your competitors to see how they address the issue. Brainstorm with peers to see if they can offer any solutions. Research potential options and don’t be afraid try something new.
Don’t suffer unnecessary scrapes and bruises, when you could find a better way to drop the puck.
Wacky Hockey Fact #4 –
The text on the Stanley Cup includes over 20 engraving errors. Look carefully and you’ll see Boston spelt as “Bqstqn” and the Leafs spelt as “Leaes”.
Certainly, no one threw out the Stanley Cup because of the errors on the trophy, but you can bet they changed engravers. Players, coaches, and managers probably made a fuss and the mistakes remain on the Cup forever.
When you send any communication from you or your business, ensure what you write is correct. Besides offering a professional and credible image, it also prevents very costly mistakes. You don’t want your customers or business associates to always remember you for what you did wrong.
Just think of the impact if you accidentally quote a client $100 instead of $500 for a job. Even if you reach out to the customer and explain the mistake, do you think they’ll still think the same way about your business? Or will they think you’re trying to squeeze more money out of them or you’re careless?
What happens if you prepare a legal agreement which includes an error and you’re bound to the terms? You could pay dearly for weeks, months, or years.
Always take time to proofread written documents including correspondence, contracts, and especially emails. We tend to write emails quickly, hit send, and then see the error.
Spell check catches most spelling errors, but it can’t catch grammatical problems, or when you swap an inappropriate word for the one intended. You might call a “she” a “he”, or a “manager” a “manger”. When the recipient reads the message they might chuckle, but it could also offend them.
Before you send out, or sign any written document, go through these steps to ensure they’re error-free:
- Read it aloud – You might look like you’ve lost your marbles, but reading what you’ve written aloud forces you to contemplate each word.
- Print it out – Editors and business moguls know the importance of moving the written word off the computer screen and onto paper. No matter how many times you proofread digital copy, you’ll see many more errors in printed copy.
- Break large documents into chunks – If your document is over 5 pages, break it into smaller pieces. Otherwise, it becomes an overwhelming task and you’ll lose focus. Always take a short break before you start a new set of pages.
Trying to correct errors after you send out a document is time-consuming, embarrassing, and sometimes very costly. More importantly, unpolished communications undermines a successful business.
Wacky Hockey Fact #5 –
Hockey rules state that anyone can play the position of goalie if the goalies of both teams sustain injuries during a game. This includes any fan in the arena!
Naturally, you’d be horrified if the coach of your favourite team yanked a fan out of the stands, gave them a stick and pads, and said “Get out there!” You probably wouldn’t want an offense man in the net either, but at least they’d have a fighting chance since they’re athletic, skilled, and understand team strategies.
In business, you want your best players to handle the important tasks too. You don’t want your best salesperson spending their valuable time on bookkeeping or managing your website.
Fully utilizing your available resources is vital to managing a successful business. When sales personnel aren’t selling, they should be pursuing new leads, following up with past clients, and networking, not trying to figure out how to install a website plugin.
However, when you and your employees are unable to manage the day-to-day business, plus build your business, it may be time to consider outsourcing or hiring additional staff. When you assign additional tasks to an already busy employee it can cost you more. They’re busy trying to learn new skills instead of focusing on core competencies.
Nonetheless, every company should consider whether outsourcing or hiring will propel their business forward, boost capabilities, or improve efficiency before they proceed. If it appears advantageous, embrace the option so your team can focus on company growth and development.
Entrepreneur.com suggests good tasks to outsource include repetitious, low-level tasks or those that require expertise beyond what you have in-house. These include work such as bookkeeping and payroll, writing and posting social media posts and online content, website support, and administrative tasks.
Small businesses can often access highly-skilled workers less expensively than when they hire employees or use a local service. There’s a global pool of workers and outsourcing offers the flexibility of a fixed price or hourly work.
Even so, outsourcing has potential disadvantages. When you outsource the person isn’t under your direct supervision. You may also experience communication lags, especially if the worker is in another time zone. Plus, candidates may have varying cultural and professional standards and language skills. However, the reduction in costs and streamlined business processes often outweigh them when you choose a good contractor.
You may want to hire an employee if you want to build a local business. They’re loyal to your company, know the area, and can provide you with a flexible, diverse workforce as your business grows.
Hiring one person makes it much easier to coordinate projects too. There’s no need to juggle multiple contractors which makes it easier to meet project deadlines.
Of course, hiring another person increases your need for space and equipment and increases payroll burden and compliance complexities. However, a new dedicated employee could evolve into a great manager should you decide to expand your business. Deciding whether to hire or outsource depends on your short and long-term goals.
Wacky Hockey Fact #6 –
The NHL’s first outdoor game was in Las Vegas in 1991. During the third period, hundreds of grasshoppers invaded the ice. Five minutes before the end of the third period, black flies swarmed the ice too.
The folks at that outdoor game certainly never anticipated a bug invasion. However, in business you can’t afford to ignore the unexpected.
Even if your office is never invaded by critters, many things can go wrong. You need a contingency plan to deal with scenarios that could disrupt your business.
A contingency plan assures your business can move forward after an unexpected event. It could be how it will react internally and externally if the head of the firm has an accident, becomes ill, or dies.
Other possible threats include cyber attack, deliberate or unintended mismanagement, customer injuries, workplace accidents, natural disasters, and more.
Experts suggest your company outlines the potential scenarios for each top-priority risk. Then analyze your available resources and the possible impact on your company. Finally, explore ways to reduce these risks and develop a written contingency plan. Test the plan for effectiveness and maintain it so it remains relevant.
A contingency plan ensures you can get your business up and running again quickly so you can earn money after an unexpected event. The Business Development Bank of Canada offers many resources, including templates to help you through the process.
Wacky Hockey Fact #7 –
The NHL and the Stanley Cup have Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts.
Yes, even the Stanley Cup has social media accounts. Why? Because the NHL and the Stanley Cup reach out to the places people frequent, and today that’s online. Social media provides instant access to information from anywhere at any time.
The days of tuning in the CBC for Hockey Night in Canada have given way to live streams on the internet. People check stats and scores on their phones, tablets, and laptops instead of hoping to snatch information on their car radio.
Consequently, it is equally imperative your business uses social media. According to a 2018 report, 91% of adult Canadian internet users have at least one social media account and almost all social media users read their feeds at least once per week.
Any business that doesn’t take advantage of social media is missing out on huge opportunities. It increases brand awareness, loyalty, and authority. It also promotes inbound traffic, and improves your search engine rankings.
Social media can also improve customer satisfaction, make you a leader in your industry, and help you gain meaningful marketplace insights. It’s no wonder the Stanley Cup and the NHL take social media so seriously!
Postcard Portables offers many products to help you build a successful business to set you apart from the competition. We’re not just a sign company – we offer advertising solutions.
CONTACT US ANYTIME – We’re always happy to help!