Le Tour de Business.... remembering your business journey is not a sprint.

Le Tour de Business

Small business owners know firsthand the trials and tribulations of embarking on “Le Tour de Business..”  And as this year’s Tour de France kicks off, I can’t help but relate the business journey to that on two wheels circling the entirety of France.  So, strap on your helmets, grab your water bottles, and let’s embark on a wild ride filled with uphill battles, teamwork, and the occasional crash!

Picture this, a small business owner stands at the start line, trembling with anticipation, like a cyclist poised for the race to begin. Both endeavors require careful planning and meticulous preparation. In the Tour de France, riders must ensure their bikes are in peak condition, just like a business owner needs to have a sturdy internal foundation for success. Have you devised your company’s vision, strategy, and execution elements for success, and how to measure the success or failure of your journey? Many call it a VSEM.  And just like the Tour’s top teams, small business owners need to build a solid foundation that ensures all members of the team feel part of the mission.  And be it soigneur or Directeur sportif, mechanic, or GC contender, everyone on the team must collectivity share the vision on how to reach a successful outcome and how they each can contribute.

In the Tour de France, the infamous mountain stages test the cyclists' resilience and determination. Likewise, small business owners face their fair share of uphill climbs in the form of economic challenges, market competition, and ever-changing customer preferences. But fear not! Just like the cyclists who find strength in their legs and their teammates' support, entrepreneurs can conquer these challenges with a dash of innovation and a pinch of humor, knowing that you do not have to tackle everything on your own.  And like the peloton, that wondrous sea of cyclists huddled together, battling wind resistance and striving for victory, similarly, in the business world, collaboration and teamwork are crucial. Surrounding yourself with a talented and motivated team creates an atmosphere of camaraderie and propels your business forward. Plus, just like drafting in the peloton helps reduce effort, sharing responsibilities lightens the load for everyone involved.   But sometimes, outsourcing a talented cyclist to help with the climbs or a talented manager can help lessen the load.   For example, a fractional chief marketing officer can help reduce the dependence or mandate of building an entire marketing team and absorbing all the overhead and hiring risk.


And speaking of risk, every cyclist in the Tour de France has a support vehicle by their side, filled with mechanics, coaches, and snacks galore. These vehicles act as a lifeline, providing assistance and encouragement along the way. Similarly, small businesses often rely on mentors, advisors, and supportive friends who offer guidance, lend a helping hand, and occasionally bring a box of donuts to boost morale. Make sure you have these sounding boards and people to bounce ideas. It will make the climbs much easier as you approach your business as an extended race and not just a short-term sprint.

As we pedal towards the end of this rollicking comparison, it's clear that the Tour de France and running a small business share more similarities than you probably initially thought. Both require determination, resilience, teamwork, and the ability to find humor in the ups and downs of the long journey.

So, whether you find yourself racing up a mountain pass or navigating the tricky terrain of entrepreneurship, keep in mind that a dash of humor can go a long way. Remember, life is a race best enjoyed with a smile on your face, a bit of caffeine, and water bottle in hand!