A lot, actually. In fact, sport and business have a lot in common.

Just like in business

Anyone can take part in sport at one level or another. For example, you can just turn up at a track and run, you can hop on a bike and cycle the route over Boxhill used in the Olympics, or pop down the tennis club to play a set or two. But without a lot of hard work and preparation don’t expect to get a call up to the Olympics squads or The Davis Cup Team. Getting to those events requires a great product (your talent), lots of planning, hard work and the right team around you.

Just as in sport, anyone can set up a business and sell products or services. There may be some regulatory or industry specific constraints (food safety, hygiene, health and safety laws etc.) but otherwise, you can pretty much go for it.

But if you want to be a business Olympian, if you want to win medals, you need to have a great product or service and then you have to plan for success, work hard to deliver it and have a team around you.

The England Football Team – it almost came home!

Most England fans had pretty low expectations for what the England team would deliver. Recent past history was not good. Teams of skilful individuals that couldn’t work as a unit. Inadequate preparation. No plan B when plan A didn’t work.

But this year was different. Gareth Southgate built a backroom team that left absolutely nothing to chance. He dispensed with the experienced players along with their egos and WAGs. Instead he selected players with passion for the game and their country and melded them into a unit.

The results exceeded expectations and set the team well on the road to their real target – the 2020 World Cup.

GB Cycling

The GB cycling squad undoubtedly has its stars. But their talent alone would not have made them medal winners. It was the team around them – nutritionists, fitness coaches, mental attitude coaches, technicians, clothing suppliers etc. All played vital parts in creating the opportunity for the stars to succeed.


Novak Djokovic would never have made it back on to Centre Court after the two years he’s had without the support of a huge backroom team. That’s why he, and all the other Wimbledon winners over the years always pay tribute to their teams.

How does this apply to business?

Many businesses start out as one-man bands. The solopreneur. Many stay that way with only one employee – the owner.

But to be a successful business you need a team around you, just like the sports stars.

That doesn’t mean that you need to take on lots of employees to be a successful business. There are other ways to build a team without employees.

The £10 an hour jobs – why you need a team

When you start out, you do all the jobs in the business. From the £10 per hour filing to the big ticket sales pitch. Everything – the sales, the marketing, the accounting and admin, the product or service creation and delivery, the posting and packaging etc. etc. is all down to you.

The problem is you are probably not very good at some of these jobs. What’s more, they are keeping you from doing the bits of the business that you are good at. While you are doing the £10 an hour jobs, you’re not making those sales pitches. The bits that really drive the revenue and profits. So you have to find ways of off-loading those jobs to other people. A bookkeeping VA for your accounts. A social media VA to set up and manage your social media schedule. A tech support company to build and run your website and your IT infrastructure.

Yes – you have to pay for these services. But if you choose the right supplier, or partner, they free you up to concentrate on winning and servicing customers.

Knowing your numbers

When you start out you probably can’t afford to employ a raft of VA’s and outsource suppliers. But if you really know your numbers – how much your time is worth, how much effort you put in to those little jobs, and the cost of possible outsource partners, you can plan for when the time is right to take on someone for each role.

When you have the free time, do it yourself. But when time becomes tight outsource, starting with the lowest value jobs first.

It’s still a team though

Finding the right outsource partners is critical. They need to buy-in to your business and ethos. They need to be an extension of your business. Don’t just pay their monthly invoice. Engage with them and get their feedback, their perspectives. You’ll be amazed the insights they can provide into your business from a viewpoint you’ll never have yourself.

Support for you – the business owner

Whether you are just starting out, you have some outsourced support or you’ve gone the whole hog and employed staff, you are still the boss. You lead the team. You take the decisions. You shoulder the burden.


It can be pretty lonely. That’s where organisations like the Guildford Hub come in. We provide the education, inspiration, collaboration and support to help you build your team, manage those resources and lead your business. We provide the safe environment where you can turn and say you’re having a bad time and need some extra support. We’re not like the networking groups where everyone turns up having taken their rah-rah pills. We do this….

“Because no one should have to build a business alone”

Why not come along to the Hub and give us a try. Your first meeting is free. Find out more here:


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