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Why cycling is like business


    Seeing yet another turn and a hill in the distance, huffing and puffing in the summer sunshine, thinking can we get to the top again? Have we paced and trained enough for this challenge?

    It struck me that cycling, like many sports, has so many similarities to running and growing a business and that having discipline in business is as important as the discipline needed when training for cycling or a longer challenge.

    So how are they similar?

    We share some simple tips from over 25 years in business and five years of cycling, as useful reminders to keep your business on track, or to help you gain momentum again.


    Do your research. Most cycling challenges are like a business entering new territory, you do not know the full landscape and potential challenges that may arise. There’s a plethora of data online now to help with all kinds of research. 

    The PESTLE analysis is a great model to map the market, where any gaps are, costs of entry, standards to meet and aspects that could change your business in the future. Remember to review and update this as you progress with any changes in the market.

    planning & goals to get there

    “Goals are just dreams without deadlines” in business and sport, if goals are not SMART,  they can be more confusing and set things off in the wrong direction. SMART Goals are:

    Specific – What are you aiming for? Is it differentiation, being niche, or highly specialised?  The more specific the easier it is.

    Measurable – It is vital to know your starting point and your numbers to begin with. If your sports goal is to cycle 370miles from Lands End, then where are you now, what experience and what is needed to achieve this?  The same applies in business, you need to be able to measure the start to the goal.

    Attainable & Realistic – There is no point in setting goals that will never be attainable for your business. You have to be realistic and that applies to any goals we set in life.

    Time – A goal needs to defined by including a deadline, so you know when it has to be achieved by and review any blocks.

    Without a plan – It’s like a journey without a roadmap.

    Many businesses go off track at times, or meet a block in the road, it is about navigating with your knowledge, research, plan and skills that will help you back on track. 


    Michael Porter (who led the field in marketing strategy) identified 3 strategies that a business can adopt to succeed: 

    Cost Leadership: Offering the lowest priced products or services in a specific market. Not a very sustainable approach though, another business can always undercut costs.

    Differentiation: Uniquely desirable products and services. at Hashtag Creative Media, we focus on helping our client’s ‘why’ of business, which can be important ethical angles of their why and because it trebles results and customer advocacy over time.

    Focus: Offering a specialised service in a niche market, what will your business do that is unique?

    What about tactics? These strategies are the aim, next is what to do to achieve your business goals and that’s where tactics come in. 

    Many people can think tactics sound a bit underhand, but the tactics are the approaches that will deliver the strategy and are often overlooked by many businesses. An example tactic could be to create engaging digital content on TikTok and Instagram to expand market share and drive engagement among ‘Gen Zer’s’.


    mindset and teamwork

    It is vital to believe in not only what you do, know your values, value your team skills, your customer’s needs and suppliers.

    Seeing the week cycling challenge ahead with over 70 miles and 4,000 feet of climbing per day – it was easy to feel the road ahead is impossible and what if scenarios (that are useful in the planning) but can become a major barrier on the road.

    Keeping an eye on your strategy and vision can help to focus  when we hit a downhill block in our daily work and lives.

    Cycling challenges, like business, can sometimes feel more uphill and insurmountable. But treat each day as a new positive challenge,  taking action toward our goals with our strategy and ‘why’ in mind, that creates momentum and motivation. Working with your team of experts to keep moving ahead to a sense of real achievement when you meet each goal.

    The old saying there is no ‘I’ in team and no one is an island. This is so true, even if you don’t have a ‘team’ of people working with you, a successful business utilises the expertise of others.


    We work with businesses to optimise their digital stategy, tactics and content for the digital world.  

    Keen to know more? Contact us for an informal chat today 

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