The following article takes a look at the English Premier League and how leaving business decisions to the last minute can impact on short and long term goals.
One of the prime examples of the harm in leaving it to the last minute can be seen by one of the World’s largest sporting days in the English Premier Leagues calendar – transfer deadline day. And with this event fast approaching, we are likely to be in for a host of clubs conducting business right up until the 11th hour. While I for one am disappointed to see one of the men most notorious for this activity in Harry Redknapp, currently enjoying life in the less stressful tv studio punditry box, it is a time to evaluate the potential gains and losses to business in waiting to very last minute.
The advantages and the pitfalls…
Many clubs view this as a chance to get players on the cheap, these are typically players that are unhappy at their current club or are unlikely to get a look in due to new players that have already arrived. Clubs can often be so desperate to sell and get them off the wage bill, or on the contrary top clubs can be desperate to get their man, they pay over the top prices. One prime example of when it has worked leaving it to the last minute is Tottenham’s capture of Rafael Van Der Vaart a few years back at a relative bargain price of £8 million. However this can also be contrasted yet again with Tottenham when they left it to the last minute to sell one of their prized assets at the time in Dimitar Berbatov to Manchester United, leaving it so late they could hardly get a replacement in and had to resort to snapping up a loan signing of an untried Manchester United youngster. It is undeniable their season stuttered due to it and while they may have secured a great sale at £30 million, the lower positions and failure to end up in their target position outweighed the monetary gains from the late sale.
How does this apply to business?
This begs the question does leaving it to the last minute in your business give you the benefit of the latest availability of resources and knowledge or does completing your work early give you the benefit of getting more done in a structured fashion and cause less potential damage to your overall goals and objectives? I for one would argue the later and here is why.
We are all busy in our personal lives and in our work lives, but is it we are busy or is it we are not making effective use of our time? In the case of the premier league, we have seen many clubs getting their targets in early, such as Liverpool with 6 captures confirmed by July. Liverpool captain sums it up nicely by commenting to LiverpoolFC.com “I think we’ve shown good intent early on in the transfer window to go and get the players that we want.”
Short and long term goals
By putting together short and long term deadlines and goals you are keeping staff motivated and ensuring you are all fired up for success and not falling away from the desired path. It could be that resources and tools can support this on a personal level and overall. Some of the tools I have found particularly useful range from the basics of having Outlook calendars and whiteboards, for sharing ideas, through to more collaborative solutions such as Customer Relationship Management software where you can have full access to sales, marketing and customer care with actionable tasks.
Booking in early – especially if you require resources outside your own control
Another aspect where leaving it to the last minute can be disastrous is if you are relying on other peoples time. For instance working in the software industry it is surprising how often people leave it to the last minute to book in consultants time, or they have a deadline to implement software but don’t start evaluating options until 1 month to go until they actually need the solution up and running.
Traditional economic theory underlies the principles of supply and demand and how as time gets closer the supply can lower as resources get booked up but the demand can suddenly increase rapidly as a long term deadline can be in sight.
Once again we go back to the benefit of getting your business in early or at least setting short term objectives to drive towards the long term goal. For instance a premier league club might target bringing in one new player for each position each week of the transfer window, especially if they need to balance Cashflow and manage player sales additionally. But leaving it to the end of the transfer window deadline can be disastrous; I for one am looking forward to seeing how much panic buying is carried out. How about for our business, are we setting long term goals with short term goals leading the way towards them? Or just blindly following a path to a long term goal that might slip further and further away?