The Winter Games are just getting kicked off in Sochi, Russia. Thousands of athletes from hundreds of countries compete in 98 events. Many of these men and women have trained their entire lives for these games to see their dreams come true. That passion and dedication is similar to that of entrepreneurs. If there was a worldwide competition for small businesses, what events would there be?
Let's imagine ...
Opening Ceremony. Rousing motivational speeches from Daymond John, Sheryl Sandberg, Sir Richard Branson and Sara Blakely.
Freestyle Selling. This event will showcase one entrepreneur selling a single product for three minutes. Judges would rank them on a scale of 1 to 10 based on number of features introduced, benefits cited and questions asked. The gold medal will go to: The entrepreneur who best matches his or her sales solution to the customer's stated needs.
Cross Country Marathon. This event would include five business appointments in five days in five different cities. Entrepreneurs would take five flights to reach their destinations. Judges will score all five sales pitches for each entrepreneur. The gold medal will go to: The most resourceful entrepreneur, who pitches his last client as if it was his first, wins.
Competitor Jumping. Entrepreneurs compete to avoid competitors that are rapidly coming at them in many different directions and from adjacent industries. The gold medal will go to: The entrepreneur who is most agile and can react swiftly to the competition.
Presentation Polo. Entrepreneurs have to present a five slide deck that they have never seen before. (The rules would be similar to the popular business conference game called Battle Decks.) The gold medal will go to: The businessperson who demonstrates the best seamless presentation flow, outrageous physical gestures, minimal jargon use and, therefore, highest credibility.
Developer Dash. Companies compete to build a product in the shortest period of time: one category for physical products, another for cloud-based software. The gold medal will go to: The company that is the most efficient, creative and able to build a viable product that consumers will buy.
Synchronized Cash Flow. Companies will compete by simultaneously carrying large inventories, paying employees, paying bills and collecting money from customers. The gold medal will go to: The company that can effectively read its cash flow statement and take the appropriate action.
A/R Archery. Teams compete to collect accounts receivable in the quickest period of time using only cell phones and email. Results based on actual payments received, not promised payments. The gold medal will go to: The entrepreneur who puts together the best system for money collection that gets paid fast. This includes sending invoices on time, following up to see if they were received and when they will be paid.
Profit Slalom. Companies work to sell the most products at the highest profit margin. The gold medal will go to: The company that has the lowest cost of goods or service and lowest fixed expenses.
Jargon Jaunt. In this event, a variety of abbreviations and jargon is thrown at competitors. Whoever has the most correct interpretations wins. The gold medal will go to: The individual who can explain jargon to judges in simple enough terms that even those outside the industry would understand.
Reputation Rumble. Companies compete to manage their online reputations effectively through various social media tools. Points will be awarded for engagement, retweets and shares. The gold medal will go to: The team that can engage customers the quickest and most comprehensively.
Closing Ceremony. Oprah Winfrey hosts a celebration spectacular, which emphasizes the huge positive impact small businesses have on economies all around the world.
What events do you think should be in the Small Business Games?
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