Building or growing a business is very much like running a race.
Are you running a marathon or a sprint? The answer is important. Let’s find out if you’re in the right race.
If your business is like a marathon, your focus is on a finish line many years out. You realize in order to get to that finish line, you’ll need to build up endurance.
Pacing yourself is crucial. Finishing the race alive and healthy is more important than rushing to achieve a short-term goal.
If your business is like a sprint, speed of execution is most important. Your focus is on achieving short-term goals quickly. To reach them, you’ll run as fast as you can for a short period of time. What matters today is the next three months. The next race is out of mind.
Your Compensation Plan
Is your compensation plan designed to win a marathon or a sprint?
If you have a marathon in mind, your compensation plan encourages the key behaviors (sales, recruiting, and leadership) but also patience. To climb the success ladder, your representatives will need to pace themselves. You describe your plan to others as the “get rich slowly” plan. You feel the same way about your business. You’ll get there, but it will take awhile.
If you view your compensation plan as a sprint, you have set expectations for your sales force that success will come quickly. Run as fast you can! Time is of the essence. Hurry!
Why Does It Matter?
Whichever race you’re running, you should make sure that your teammates (those running the business with you) and your independent representatives are each in the same race.
If some members of your management team think you’re running a marathon but instead you’re running a sprint, or your sales force believes they are in a race that is different from yours, their focus and their pace may not be in harmony with yours.
Running a marathon requires patience and consistency. Sprinting takes a concentrated burst of energy with blinders on to ignore everything except that which matters for the race.
Using analogies like “marathon” and “sprint” can help you, your home team, and your sales team to understand the type of race you’re running. When everyone has the same understanding, you’ll cross the finish line together.