Play Ball — What business can learn from baseball

It's the week after the 4th of July and baseball is taking a break from the regular season to celebrate the players at the All Star Game.  I've always been a baseball fan and love going to games to see how the ball parks are enticing fans to the game because, after all, baseball is not only America's past-time but it's big business.  

Even if you're not a baseball fan, there are lessons you can take away from how the business is run to help you be a better business owner and hopefully score some home runs this year.  

Know your numbers

Baseball is a game of numbers -- RBI, ERA, Batting Average -- the players and managers know what numbers matter.  Metrics are key.  Hit the numbers and you're around for another year.  Miss the numbers and you might be traded or sent down to the minors.  


Take a look at what you are measuring.  Do you have consistent numbers you look at daily, weekly, or monthly to help you know if you're on the right track with what you want to accomplish in your business?  

Hiring is critical

When hiring, balancing the current team is critical.  Many times the best individual player or superstar might not be the right fit for the team dynamics and could diminish the team building efforts you’ve been trying to achieve.  

When hiring, look for someone with the required skills to do the job AND the flexibility to balance the rest of the team.  

Continually evaluate your longstanding processes

The book and eventual movie Moneyball: The art of winning an unfair game by Michael Lewis about the Oakland Athletics and general manager Billy Beane focuses on the team’s analytical, evidence-based, sabermetric approach to assembling a competitive baseball team, despite having low revenues.   

“Managers tend to pick a strategy that is the least likely to fail, rather than to pick a strategy that is most efficient. The pain of looking bad is worse than the gain of making the best move.”

Continuous review of current processes and long held beliefs should be a standard to find new ways to look at situations and create options for growing your business.  Being open to new ways of doing things and looking at other industries and their processes can open your mind to opportunities to grow your business in new ways.

It's about the fundamentals

Have you ever been at a game early and watched batting practice?  These guys are professionals and yet they hit and throw and catch and run before every game.  Why are they doing this before a game? 

Because it's all about fundamentals and  habits that are going to help you reach your success.  

What are your daily habits and how are they making you a better business person?  What you do every day, your habits and routines, will help you either grow your business or keep you struggling to hit your revenue goals.  What are your fundamentals?

Everyone needs a coach

Have you ever been to a baseball game where there isn't a coach?  From little league to the pros, players have a coach on the field during practice and during the game.  

The coach helps a player see the things they can't see -- the tiny shift in their batting stance, the timing between catch and throw, or the way they're interacting with the rest of the team. 

Everyone has things they can work on but many times we can't see them.  A coach helps the team get better by seeing things objectively and looking at the bigger picture.  

Baseball team's have several coaches for each area of the game.  Businesses should have coaches or advisors for the strategic and tactical areas of their operations. 

Your value to your customers should remain top of mind

The success of your business rides on the value you’re providing to your customers.  Remember the “old” ballparks? You went to the game, maybe got a hotdog and beer and watched baseball.  

Today, when you go to a game, it’s an event. There’s something going on between every inning and many times before and after the game.  Baseball knows what the customers want and your business should too.

Evaluate your customer experience, customer retention rates, and customer interactions.  Are you keeping your customers top of mind and adding value through your product or service?

Play Ball

Baseball is big business but it’s also a game.  Integrating your business to be a part of your life, celebrating the good times and keeping the hard times in perspective will make you and your business better.

If you want to learn more about systematizing and streamlining your business to build a foundation for growth, schedule a no-obligation, free call with me today.    SCHEDULE A CALL

  • Terri says:

    Homerun! Very informative and well said.

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