The summer Olympics will commence this week in Rio de Janeiro, but the road to the opening ceremony has not been an easy one, with multiple problems plaguing both the city as well as the country of Brazil. What lessons can entrepreneurs learn from Rio’s preparation for the Olympics?
Some events are beyond our control. When Brazil was awarded the opportunity to host the 2016 summer Olympics in 2009, their economy was flush and their property values were some of the highest in the world. After seven years of political, financial, and pandemic health disasters, scores of hotels and high rises that were built in anticipation of a surging economy now stand empty. Like the U.S. housing bust of 2008, Rio is a reminder to business professionals that unforeseen events can sometimes change the market drastically.
Stay on top of economic trends
Officials in Brazil may not have been able to predict all of the country’s financial downturns, but a successful entrepreneur needs to stay on top of the market’s economic trends.
Don’t take shortcuts
Due to poor workmanship and inadequate inspections, Rio’s Olympic Village has been plagued with faulty wiring and bad plumbing, making it almost unlivable for the world’s athletes. When it comes to managing your own business, taking shortcuts is almost never a good idea. Although taking shortcuts or only covering the bare minimum may save time and money, it could also ultimately deliver negative results and the potential loss of a client.
Don’t make promises you can’t keep
From rising crime, polluted water, and lack of transportation, it seems that everything that could go wrong before the Olympics has done so. Although many of the problems are reported to have been resolved, some solutions appear to be makeshift at best. Like Rio, where Olympic ticket sales are at an all-time low, for an entrepreneur, reputation is everything: More broken promises means less sales.
Whether an entrepreneur is up-selling the benefits and features of their products or services on social media or attending networking events, without positive visibility, they would have no business. In the same way, Brazil officials have been attempting to counter recent bad publicity and low ticket sales with positive press releases about how low the risk of contracting the Zika virus while visiting Rio actually is, and the successful completion of the city’s transportation system. Whether or not this strategy will work to increase attendance at the 2016 summer Olympics remains to be seen.
Sources: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Placester, Insider Louisville, Linkedin