Lessons for Small Businesses from the GAME OF THRONES

game of thrones

“San Diego Comic-Con 2011 – Game of Thrones banners” by The Conmunity

Game of Thrones is like no other TV series we’ve seen in a long while. With great screenplay and great acting, it is both sensational and sophisticated entertainment. It is also educational TV fare. Small businesses especially those owned and run by women and minorities can learn a thing or two about how it is playing with the big boys in government and in the corporate world just by watching this popular show. Who knows? Like Tyrion Lannister, Varys the Spider, Arya Stark, Daenerys Targaryen and the other underdogs in the quasi-medieval world of the seven kingdoms, they too can have their moments in the sun.

Here are some select Game of Thrones lessons to live by for small businesses:

(Note: Herein are some spoilers for those who still haven’t watched the latest seasons yet.)

1. Contracts are sacrosanct

For not honoring his end of a deal, Robb Stark lost his life, along with those of his pregnant wife, his mother, many of his men, even his direwolf, and eventually his stronghold in Winterfell. If you manage to land a contract, especially with government or a major corporation, be sure you abide faithfully with the terms and conditions you agreed to. Otherwise, you could also end up dead, business-wise. Contract breakers usually get blacklisted from any future dealings.

2. Never default on a debt

“A Lannister always pays his debt” is the unofficial motto of the House Lannister of Casterly Rock (with the official one being “Hear me roar!”). It also makes for sage advice to the aspiring businessman. It does pay to keep your liabilities at a manageable level and your banker not looking over your shoulders. Take note that you’re in business for the long haul so it’s important to always keep your credit standing good. There will be good times and bad times. When the bad times come, you may have to borrow more than usual to keep your business afloat, at least until you weather the storm. You won’t be able to do that if you’re a known debt delinquent or defaulter.

3. Be prepared for contingencies

As noted above, there will always be good times and bad times in business. And most of the time, things are beyond our control, much like the weather. Who could have known that the sub-prime mortgage market collapse in the United States would result into such a global catastrophe which affected everyone of us? “Winter is Coming” is the motto of the House Stark to keep them in constant vigilance. So too should small businesses. When budgeting, always set aside a contingency reserve. When making strategies, always have a Plan B ready just in case. Don’t scrimp on insurance either.

4. Toughen up

Once you play with the big boys, you’re bound to get knocked down a couple of times. When you do, don’t despair; just pick yourself up and jump right in back into the fray. If you keep your eyes on your goal and the prize ahead, sooner or later you’ll find yourself in the major league. As scrappy little Arya says, “A bruise is a lesson…and each lesson makes us better.”

5. Information is power

Varys, a eunoch who was born a slave, rose from his humble beginnings to become a Lord and a member of the “small council,” that innermost circle of advisers to the Iron Throne. He wields great power and influence throughout the realm because he has a vast network of trained “little birds” who supply him with information from all over the seven kingdoms and beyond. He uses his information to gain advantage over rivals or he trades them in exchange for favors. For a small business, having access to the right kind of information can spell the difference between just managing to keep ends meet to becoming a real success story. Small businesses with no research facility of their own can get help from government agencies and from websites like Head Exposed on how to find information on when and where good contracts are available.

6. Build relationships

Small businesses, mainly because they are small, would often have to collaborate with one another through formal sub-contract or joint venture arrangements to increase their chances at winning big government or corporate contracts. Because of this, it makes sense that they also try to cultivate and build friendly and informal relationships with one another, as for instance through regular interactions at their civic, community or trade groups and clubs. In the Game of Thrones alternate reality, alliances are sealed as a matter of course through marriages. Thus, Tywin schemed to have his son Tyrion wedded to Sansa Stark to secure a hold on Winterfell. He also arranged to have his widowed daughter Cersei engaged to Loras Tyrell in order to further cement relations with Highgarden and the Reach.

Now, as you learn more about how this hit TV series compares to business and procurement as a whole, are you ready to apply them to your own business dealings? Share with us your own business stories or even Game of Thrones insights and let’s build on a community that stands the test of time.

    Leave a Reply

    Privacy Policy

    Important: This Privacy Policy applies to all of the products, services, and websites offered by Head Exposed, its subsidiaries and/or affiliated companies.

    Read more


    What is this website all about?

    This website provides the latest and necessary information on selling products and services to various government agencies...

    Read more


    244 Fifth Avenue, Suite N252, New York, NY 10001
    Website: http://headexposed.com
    Email: [email protected]