The Business Lessons of Black Caviar

November 5, 2012, 2:19 pm Kochie's Business Builders Yahoo!7

Black Caviar has clearly claimed her rightful place in the history books. In getting there she's taught us four important business lessons about expanding abroad...

The Business Lessons of Black Caviar

Champion racehorse Black Caviar cantered into the record books by beating the best in the world to record her 22nd win from as many starts. This run of success has not been equalled for over 150 years making the world champion sprinter arguably the best to ever trot the track.

In getting there trainer Peter Moody and his stable have not only groomed a world conquering racehorse, but also a rival withering brand around her success.

Testament to this was the strong turnout of punters at her final Royal Ascot outing adorning her trademark salmon and black outfit. Many of those were seasoned Poms too.

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So not only has the big mare been established as the greatest sprinter in the world but arguably the greatest brand to come out of the stalls too.

It’s an immense Australian story that small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs can take a lot out of. Here are the business lessons of Black Caviar.

Be Prepared

Black Caviar ran 21 times at home before making the trip to Royal Ascot. She was superbly established in the domestic racing scene and her trainers had well and truly done their homework.

It was tireless track work and compressions suits for Black Caviar. For small business it’s a tried and tested product and consultation with Austrade. Success at home will never guarantee success abroad but being seriously established and well informed will ensure it’s the most likely outcome.

Know Your Limits

Peter Moody was fully aware of the travel and track risks of flying halfway around the world to compete in vastly different conditions. But they were calculated risks. Ones that Black Caviar was able to overcome, but also risks that proved damaging as injuries from the race sent her home from Europe early and into retirement.

The team knew her limits and stayed within them. They took on an acceptable level of risk by challenging an overseas market and won. But they also refrained from going too far and risking serious damage to the brand and the product herself by ending the trip prematurely.

Every business expansion and brand build takes on some risks but by knowing limits and not overextending resources you can reduce the chance of all your had work unravelling at the finish line.

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Take on the Best

To be the best you have to beat the best. Black Caviar has long been touted as a champion within Australia but only now that she’s taken on the best racing field in the world can she claim to be a true champion horse and all known brand.

This should be the aim for every business everywhere - to beat the best. It’s taken hard work and robust preparation for Black Caviar to do it, and it’s no different for a small business. If the hard work isn’t done to establish a product and brand at home then it’s not going to magically happen abroad either.

Never Lose Sight of the Competition

Black Caviar very nearly didn’t win at Royal Ascot. Jockey Luke Nolan eased off with 200m to go allowing Moonlight Cloud to storm up beside her and almost take it at the sprint. Nolan thought he had it in the bag when suddenly the track slowed and his competition quickened.

He was complacent in the saddle and lost sight of the competition. And it almost cost him the race. In business, just like in racing, you can never afford complacency or to let your eyes wander from the competition. Because that’s when they steal past you.

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