Bl**dy Kevin is going to be a phrase said a lot in the coming months by the team at Prime, probably more than usual. That's because he has come up with an ingenious challenge, where the team at Prime, with a few guests and friends, are going to cycle to every one of the gold Olympic postboxes given to the gold medal winners during the 2012 Olympics. That's 62 of them and nearly 4000 miles of pedalling... Bl**dy Kevin!
Every year at Prime we nominate a charity for the firm, this started when we stopped sending Christmas cards out, making a donation instead, and then we would raise money doing a raffle at events, and last year we raise a couple of grand at a quiz, but ultimately we haven't done enough. So this year we have decided to make up for that with a huge challenge!
The team at Prime have chosen Macmillan, the cancer charity that does such wonderful work, as this years nominated Charity. We asked the team to volunteer for a working party of how to raise money and we were blown away with the number of really good ideas they came up with. Bl**dy Kevin, lead this and during this process suggested this idea, rather than saying the sensible thing which would have been, " a bunch of middle aged over weight accountants cannot ride 4000 miles with hardly any training, its a stupid idea" the team all started to work together and break down the task into the workable components needed to make it happen. Within a week they put together a plan, and presented it to the Board, and then suddenly we were committed.
Once communicated within the firm the enthusiasm has been amazing, with about 15 riders volunteering to ride, and just as many stepping forward to support by driving supplies and bringing back riders from all over the United Kingdom.
A by product to this has also been a mini boom for local cycle shops and a rather worrying amount of Lycra bought by middle aged men, some of whom are cycling.
This task is huge, the furthest south is Sark in Guernsey, and the furthest North is Lossiemouth in Scotland, there is also the Isle of Man. As this is a unique challenge and one we came up with, we can make our own rules up, and after a vote we have allowed the riders to use ferries to get to Sark and the Isle of Man. However all routes will start from either of our offices in Solihull and Coventry, and some routes might take in more than one postbox. The rides will be split across the team as let's face it it will be impossible for every rider to cover all of the miles.
The riders range from the youngsters to the not so young, male and female, fit and unfit! What has been impressive is the amount of training already put in, as of writing this, we have had just over two weeks training, and the 9 riders who use the Strava GPS tracking app have already covered 669 miles, including climbing over 17,442 feet of hills. However the longest ride done so far is 38 miles, there are only 2 of the 24 rides we have planned shorter than this, Bedworth and Alcester, most of the others are in excess of 100 miles each, so we still have a lot of training to do!
As this is a blog for a firm of accountants and business advisers, I guess I should leave you with a relevant business message from all of this. Well there are quite a few:-
1. Think big, if you do the same as you have always done without success, then change is required
2. Break down big challenges into smaller pieces, sharing the responsibilities. Your team will have different skills, so use these to their full potential, if you try and do everything yourself you may end up thinking its too big a task and give up .. (If you don't have a team see point 5 below)
3. Planning, this is massive, we have to plan the routes, support, dates, fundraising etc Worryingly most business do not have a proper plan, they just knife and fork it. We see loads of businesses and without doubt the ones that are most successful have thought about their business and planned how to operate and where their future objectives are
4. Use and source technologies, as part of this we have come across map planning tools, GPS devises and information sharing methods which have made very difficult tasks much easier and efficient
5. Get help from the experts, we are doing this to raise money for Macmillan, it will be pretty rubbish if we do all this hard work and don't raise more money than usual. Therefore we have asked our wonderful neighbours NC Creative, to help with the marketing. The have kindly donated their time and come up with a website and marketing plan including using social media to raise awareness. A big thank you to their team!
6. Motivate your team. If your team are great then your business is great. Motivation does not have to be purely financial based, or even about the day job. Our team are buzzing about this and that makes the office a better place to be. Awesome!
Right then, time to plug the website where you can donate now! Please visit www.justgiving.com/teams/GPCC
Time to get back on the bike Bl**dy Kevin!