Interviews

Game of Thrones guide to building a successful business

5 min read

27 March 2015

On April 13, Game of Thrones will be returning to UK screens with the highly anticipated fifth season of the series. If you’re anything like us you’ll be eager to return to the world Westeros.

Game of Thrones is the fantasy drama television series based on the novels written by George R. R. Martin. It follows the journeys of key inhabitants of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros as they battle and politically manoeuvre themselves towards the Iron Throne and ultimate power.

There are nine Great Houses in Westeros and each of those houses has its own mottos that encapsulate who they are and what they stand for. These house words provide clear business lessons that entrepreneurs can take away in order to grow, develop and compete against larger organisations.

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House Lannister – A Lannister always pays his debts

The official House Lannister words are “Hear Me Roar”, but after watching the series you may be more familiar with the unofficial motto “a Lannister always pays his debts”. These words reflect the importance of financial planning.

One of the main reasons that so many small businesses fail is because they run out of money. One of the easiest ways to avoid this is to invest time and resource into creating a solid financial plan before you embark on a new venture. 

You need to know where the funds will come from to not only set up the business, but to also keep it afloat if success doesn’t come at first. 

Like House Lannister, you need to build up a reputation for paying your debts, whether that debt is to freelancers, suppliers or other businesses you work with.

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House Tyrell – Growing strong

House Tyrell knows how to network and build tactical alliances. They are a wealthy house, but they retain that wealth by using their resources strategically.

Unlike House Tyrell, not all new businesses are blessed with a wealth of funds at their disposal. For many, capital is limited at best and the initial success of the business will determine their future. In order to grow your business, you will need to streamline your assets. 

For example, if you don’t have enough money for your own office, work from home or try renting shared office space. There are always cost effective alternatives available that will enable you to maintain scalability and flexibility.

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House Stark – Winter is coming

Compared to the rest of the house words, House Stark is the only house that has a motto of warning rather than a boast.

House Stark’s words symbolise the sharing of knowledge. In relation to business, this lesson focuses on the importance of becoming a thought leader. 

One of the most effective ways of promoting your business and brand is to be known for your expertise. 

Rather than treating other business in your sector as the enemy, get involved in the business community and offer your experience and insights to the wider community.

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House Baratheon – Ours is the fury

The House Baratheon words teach a different lesson to the other houses. Rather than being a maxim for business to put into action, these words teach business what not to do.

The House Baratheon are known for their mercurial tempers – this is one characteristic you want to avoid at all costs in business. Always keep your cool, especially when it comes to your customers. 

Customer service is key when establishing and growing your business, and social media is the perfect platform to showcase great service to potential customers. If you are dealing with an argumentative customer who is complaining online, always use the situation as an opportunity to openly demonstrate fantastic customer service.

If you want your business to stand the test of time and grow to become a force to be reckoned with in your industry, take on board these learnings from the ever-entertaining Game of Thrones series.

Kat Kynes is a creative content and outreach strategist at FireCask.