Small business management is like running a good old game of baseball. Just like baseball managers, small business owners must build a resilient team and provide their employees with the training and equipment they need to hit home run after home run. These four important lessons from baseball can help your small business bat a thousand.
Select the Right Team
The employees you hire can make or break your small business. In baseball, the general manager carefully develops a roster of players he believes will have the greatest chance of success. Managers and coaches also spend time looking closely at their minor league prospects, nurturing talent and identifying those players who have big league promise. Take stock of your employees and how they're doing. Is everyone in the right position for their skill set? Do you have employees with the potential to make a bigger impact on your organization? If an employee is not meeting their potential, is there anything you can do to help them develop their skills? By carefully examining the strengths and weaknesses of your staff and future job candidates, you may be more likely to end up with a well-balanced team that's primed to knock it out of the park.
Assigning the proper job roles to your employees is an integral part of small business management. It's the same in baseball when managers and coaches assign players to specific positions based on their unique skills. Baseball managers also have to set the batting lineup, a main component of a team's offensive strategy, by placing their best hitters at the beginning of the order to help secure runs. Of course, you want to help rookies move up, but it makes sense to assign roles based on current capabilities and develop your heavy hitters to make sure no one drops the ball when it comes to important business tasks.
Get the Team in Shape
To make sure your business strategies are a big hit, your entire staff should be agile and ready to step up to the plate and take on projects as they arise. Baseball managers spend many hours during spring training getting players in shape with daily workouts and practices in order to prepare them, physically and psychologically, for the upcoming season. In business, you should aim to develop a team that can withstand any obstacles that may impede company objectives or goals. Prepare your staff by providing training and consistent feedback, equipping them with the latest tools or technology and offering wellness programs to promote productivity, efficiency and a healthy workforce.
A flexible approach to small business management can help ensure that you are not only meeting your individual employees' needs, but also your business goals. In baseball, a manager may have to change the batting lineup, assign a pinch hitter or replace players due to injury or an "off" game. You can do the same by making adjustments to team roles or your business plan when certain factors such as the economy, competition or sales performance throw you a curve ball.
You probably can't pay your employees as much as the big leagues, and they probably won't get corporate sponsorships, but make sure they know when they've hit a home run.
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