Whether you’re looking to work from home or running a publicly listed, transnational company, having a good strategy is critical to ensuring that you achieve your goals. Like business, poker requires a good strategy to ensure you are successful in your games. Playing poker without a strategy, however, would be like opening a shop without any idea of what you’re going to sell, to whom or for how much.
Often, poker and business strategies go hand in hand.
Protect Your Information
Economic theory describes imperfect information as being a scenario where one party has all the information about a topic, product, transaction or another matter than the other side. Usually, some level of information exists like in Texas Hold ‘em where a set of community cards are dealt faceup. In this situation, each player knows some of the cards other plays will have in their hand, but not all of them. Texas Hold ’em also allows for some predictions, and for you to formulate a strategy to beat your opponent, a win-win.
The same applies to business. You may know some information about your competitors, but they will always be holding some cards you can’t see. And like in Texas Hold ‘em, they also know some of your cards, whether you like it or not. That doesn’t mean you have to tell them everything though; guard as much as you can so that you can keep a competitive advantage.
Get Your Numbers Right
Poker is a game of maths, requiring the player to make calculations based on incomplete information. Calculating odds based on the cards you know will help you to decide what hands to play.
Getting your numbers right in business is as important. Whether you’re working from home, running a website, trading on eBay or running a business that employs several hundred people, knowing your numbers is vital.
If you don’t know how much your materials cost, your overhead or your sale price, how can you understand whether you are successful? How can you decide which products are the best ones to sell if you don’t know the profit margin on each? The answer is you can’t!
If you understand which activity or product makes you the most money, you can then begin to plan how you will sell more. Selling more of a product with a higher profit margin will mean you end up with more cash in your bank with less effort required to do it.
Control Your Emotions
Poker requires players to read each other, bluff and exploit the emotions of their opponents. A successful player will not let their emotions get in the way of their strategy because it leads to poor decision-making and usually, losing money.
Business is no different. Decisions should be based on fact or on assumptions that are derived from evidence. Occasionally a business owner might decide on an intuition that may later turn out to be a “lucky hunch,” but emotion is not your friend. A decision made in the heat of the moment could result in lost sales, expensive legal costs or worse. Instead and like in poker, if you feel yourself getting hot under the collar, then it’s time to take a break.