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Super Bowl 2018 Business Lessons
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Lessons Your Field Service Business Can Learn From This Year’s Super Bowl Teams

One team has enjoyed two decades of dominance. The other burst onto the scene from nowhere. What can we learn from their success stories?

Normally, The Smart Service Blog strives to provide field service businesses with actionable, usable, useful business and technology tips. However, with this weekend’s Super Bowl looming, we thought we might throw all that out the window and have some fun instead. So, if you, like me, would like to find some way to justify browsing Super Bowl content for work, well… you came to the right place.

Super Bowl LII pits the indomitable, indefatigable, and (let’s be honest) widely reviled New England Patriots against the young, exciting, upstart Philadelphia Eagles in frigid Minneapolis, Minnesota. As of this writing, Vegas favors New England by 4.5 points, which—again, let’s be honest—seems like a wild overestimation of Philadelphia’s chances.

But! We’re not here to predict sports outcomes. We’re here to see what business lessons we can learn from these two very successful teams and their very successful seasons.

The New England Patriots

The Patriots may be one of the most hated teams in sports, but you can’t argue with their success. In the 17 year Tom Brady/Bill Belichick era, the team has amassed five Super Bowl wins, 15 playoff appearances, and the best overall winning percentage in the NFL. How did they do it?

Hire good people and stick with them.

Tom Brady is a good employee.

There’s a reason people call it the Brady/Belichick era. In almost two decades of action, the player/coach duo have seen their share of ups and downs (but mostly ups). Through it all, Patriots ownership hasn’t wavered, they’ve always stuck by their boys. (It helps when your trophy case keeps expanding, of course.) The lesson here? Find good talent, then keep that talent happy. If your employees are “engaged and thriving”, they are 59% less likely to switch jobs in the next year. Hiring well yields championship results in every profession.

Do whatever it takes.

The Patriots are notorious for seeking an edge wherever possible. Occasionally, this gets them into trouble (so I’m not actually 100% sure I should be positioning this point as good advice). In 2007, their overzealousness cost them when they got caught illegally videotaping signals from the Jets sideline (hoping to gain a marginal edge against a woebegone opponent). Then, famously, in the 2014-15 playoffs, the Indianapolis Colts raised a hullabaloo about Tom Brady’s deflated footballs, kicking off the unforgettable deflategate scandal.

Both incidents arise from attempts to gain an edge over the opponent, however slight that edge might seem. Now, obviously we recommend operating your field service business within the confines of the law. That said, you should take a critical look at every facet of your operations and determine which could stand improvement. Perhaps digital dispatching should replace outdated scheduling processes? Perhaps an improved social media profile could give you an edge online?

Avoid mistakes.

The Patriots don’t commit very many penalties. In fact, their tendency to avoid flags has raised a few eyebrows…

Whether or not you suspect foul play or collusion, the fact remains… the Patriots don’t make a lot of mistakes. While we can’t totally rule out a massive conspiracy between the team, league, and officials, at least part of the Patriots’ squeaky-clean on field play comes from good coaching and strong player discipline, qualities your business can absolutely emulate. Remain careful on the job, don’t rush, and double-check your work. Little mistakes like forgetting to provide your employees pay stubs could end up costing you $50—per employee! Doing a job right always trumps doing it quickly and paying for a mistake.

The Philadelphia Eagles

Hey, where’d this team come from? The Eagles opened the season with 50/1 odds of winning the Super Bowl (only the 19th best odds in the NFL). As the sophomore season of 2016 #2 overall pick Carson Wentz, 2017 was supposed to be a rebuilding year. Then, the improbable happened. The Eagles rocketed to an 11-2 start on the back of an MVP-caliber season from Wentz… only to plummet into despair when Wentz tore his ACL in Week 14.

Yet, somehow, Philadelphia persevered. Backup Nick Foles took over and guided the team to a 2-1 finish. When the playoffs began, the Eagles continued their improbable run, surviving an ugly divisional game against the Falcons before trouncing the Vikings in the NFC Championship. They have their work cut out for them in their juggernaut Super Bowl opponent, but, hey! Upsets happen in sports all the time.

So, what can we learn from Philly’s meteoric season?

Never give up!

When Carson Wentz went down, most experts crossed the Eagles off as Super Bowl contenders. However, it looks like Philadelphia has taken the classic WWII propaganda slogan to heart:

Always sound advice.

Similarly, your business will encounter unexpected setbacks. Maybe one of your vehicles will get in a wreck. Maybe an employee will come down with an injury or sickness at an inopportune time. You never know what the service industry will throw at you, but you, like the Eagles, need the resolve to deal with it. When things look dark, make sure your day-to-day job performance remains top-notch.

Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake Super Bowl

Certain coworkers of mine might pitch a fit were I to omit any mention of Mr. Timberlake from this article. That’s fine, though! As it happens, there’s a great lesson we can learn from this year’s halftime act.

Seize all second chances!

The last time JT performed at the Super Bowl, the phrase “wardrobe malfunction” got added to the cultural lexicon. Now, fourteen years later, Justin has a chance for redemption… which he can achieve simply by ensuring everyone on stage remains clothed. Low bar? Sure. But it’s good to have achievable goals.

Like JT, you (or one of your employees) will commit the occasional snafu. Maybe you’ll make a mistake on an important job or commit some Timberlake-esque social faux pas. Should this happen, do what you can to rectify the situation, then seize (and knock out of the park) any second chance your customer might offer.