It’s a trap! Five tips from Star Wars for avoiding business mistakes

Today is Star Wars Day - so May the Fourth be with you! Before we bust out our dusty VHS copies of original trilogy (no prequels or special editions here!) for a marathon screening, we thought we’d share a few of our favourite business tips that you can learn from the Star Wars saga.

Star Wars Business Tips

1. A good mentor can make a big difference

Luke’s progression from whiny farmboy to fully-fledged Jedi would have been impossible without good mentoring. He’s eased into the ways of the Force by two mentors: Obi-Wan, who nurtures his raw talent and provides some sage advice, and Yoda, who encourages him to reach his full potential. Sure, it’s possible to do everything on your own, but never discount the value of someone who has been there and done it before. Check out these tips from the Guardian about mentoring for small businesses.

2. Reward loyalty

Many people feel that R2D2, the steadfast droid who loyally held Luke’s battered X-wing together and trekked through the desert to save him is the real hero of Star Wars. Look for unsung heroes and remember your customers and staff aren’t droids - rewarding their loyalty could encourage them to be even bigger advocates for your business in the long-run.

3. Shoot first (like Han)

Special editions be damned - it was Han that shot first in the Mos Eisley cantina. Going with pure gut instinct, his quick thinking in the face of danger helped to diffuse a potentially problematic situation and enable him to continue with the mission in hand. Of course you should always make sure you think through all of the options carefully before ploughing ahead, but sometimes trusting your gut is the right way to go. Otherwise someone else might shoot first and you’ll be left looking - metaphorically at least - like Greedo.

4. Identify your Achilles heel

The Empire’s overconfidence in its technology and firepower was its ultimate downfall - as they completely failed to identify their own weaknesses. If only the engineers on the Death Star had done a SWOT analysis, they’d have identified the danger of having an exposed exhaust port linking directly to the main reactor. Checking in with your own SWOT analysis every few months can help you avoid any nasty surprises.

5. Don’t underestimate your competitors

Overconfident to the end, the empire massively underestimated the Rebel threat. Moff Tarkin keeps dismissing the incoming X-wing fighters right up to the point his space station blows up around him. Don’t ever dismiss your competition out of hand - conduct regular competitor reviews and find out what you can learn from their activity to make sure you aren’t caught out.

We hope that’s helpful. We’re going to go and fire up the VCR now. See you in six hours.

Photo credit: jdhancock

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