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3 business lessons from Game of Thrones

Published: 17/05/2019

Believe it or not, I think there’s a lot to learn from Game of Thrones when it comes to running an independent business.

Since 2011, it has become a cultural phenomenon, wowing audiences all over the world. For those who have been watching, this is incredibly exciting, but even for those who haven’t, it’s impossible to ignore the scale of the series.

As someone who loves the series, and as an independent business owner myself, I thought I would pick out some important business tips to take from the series.

1. Build alliances

This is a big theme of the show. The various alliances that occur between houses are key to preserving power. House Lannisters position as the ruling family is preserved by its ability to create alliances with other powerful families.

Similarly with Daenerys Targaryen, her mission to rule the seven kingdoms is dependent on her ability to build her army before she can think about taking the throne.

This is how you need to be thinking about your business. A united team is more powerful than a disjointed one.

If you have staff, make sure you’re all working for a common goal. Trying to work with a team who are disengaged, or quite frankly can’t be bothered could hinder your business.

If you’re working on your own, maybe there are local businesses who you could partner up with. Or perhaps there is a networking event in your town. This might be a good way to get introductions to people who might be able to help you, or someone to just have a chat with about your business when you need one!

2. Anticipate threats - winter is coming

This is a phrase used by House Stark. We hear them use it from the beginning of season one. But winter does not just refer to a bit of cold weather, but rather a much more evil threat of an undead army, who will invade the world of men. No one takes these threats seriously until much later on and this comes at a great cost

As a business owner, you don’t need to prepare for a zombie apocalypse, but it is good to anticipate any threats that may come to your way. Whether this be a competitor offering a cheaper product, or a new piece of government legislation that might affect what your business can do.

Have a strategy in place to help you deal with these potential threats in the long term - whether that’s a marketing idea that can help drive more business when it’s quiet, or a pot of savings you can use if you unexpectedly need to spend more than planned on your business.

3. Great leadership is key

Game of Thrones might be full of deceit, greed and violence but there are two figures that inspire great loyalty: these are of course benevolent leaders Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen.

Both command large forces and loyal followers. But the reason for their power is because of what they stand for and how they take people along with them on that journey.

If you run a business and employ staff, It’s good to be someone that can create a positive working culture. For example, that could be as simple as rewarding hard work, having a relaxed atmosphere or something else entirely - it will depend on your business.

Even if you don’t hire staff, it is still important that you make a good impression on your customers and within your industry. Each connection you make a good impression with will be reflected in how people view your business.

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