By James White, CEO of intouchcrm

Being a big cricket fan, I have watched England (the number 1 team in the world for test cricket and supposedly the best bowling attack in the world) being given a good run around by a very good South African team over the past few days. England weren’t just beaten, they were hammered and to lose is one thing but to lose in the manner which they did was both a surprise and a reality check!

Driving back from a meeting, I thought about this result and how badly it had gone wrong for England and how their experience shows me that sport is very much like business for a number of reasons;

You’re only as good as your last result: Regardless of how good you think you are, the reality is that whilst it’s nice to look back on the past and previous success, the best companies and business people will enjoy the success and then immediately focus on the next win as the past counts for little when you’re trying to create the future.

There is always room for improvement: No matter how good you think you are, the best will always look for ways to improve and get even better. The moment you think it’s impossible to improve then be prepared for the big fall (like England have just experienced).

You have to ride the roller-coaster: Whilst we would all like success all of the time, every business has their ups as well as their downs. If you want to enjoy the wins then you have to be prepared (and more importantly learn from) the defeats! Sometimes you’re up and sometimes you’re down. Enjoy the ride and you will prosper in the end.

Keep climbing when you reach the top: When you reach the top in your industry, field or category then the key is to ensure you keep on climbing. When you are the best, you become a target for others who want your position and so if you don’t keep on climbing then be prepared for someone to catch and overtake you.

Sometimes you need a kick to get you going: It is nice to experience the compliments but sometimes criticism can act as the best spur to ensure you move forward. Receiving a customer complaint or a criticism can send you downwards or it can make you think ‘they have a point here and we need to learn from this and move on’. Nobody is ever perfect but sometimes there is nothing better than a kick to get you to improve and move on.

One setback doesn’t make you a failure: Sometimes it’s easy to over react when something goes wrong. The temptation is to put your head in the sand and feel sorry for yourself. However, one setback doesn’t make you a failure. If you have a good business with a strong reason for being and customers who enjoy working with you then focus on these points and learn from the setback. You are what you believe yourself to be and so don’t think failure! Believe in success and what you are good at!

As we all prepare for the start of the Olympics, I am sure we will see countless other examples of ‘favourites’ being made to settle for 2nd best with new, upcoming talent taking the crown that they once had.

All of this should serve as a lesson for EVERYONE in business. Staying still equals going backwards! There is only one route to continued success and that’s to continue to evolve and move forward. I have no doubt that the England cricket team will take this route and its good advice for us all in the business world as well.

James White is the CEO of intouchrcm - Social CRM, Email Marketing and so much more