Monday, March 30, 2009

Final Four, National Champions and Successful Businesses. What do they have in common?

The Final Four is coming to Michigan. I had no idea until today as I am not a very big follower of College basketball or any basketball for that matter, but it is my home state so I should have known. This will be a big boost for Detroit.

For me, the event is a reminder of the parallels between sports and business. Most people who follow sports or any team for that matter, recognizes the level of work it takes to run a team let alone the hardwork and determination to make it to the Final 4. Those who have made it to the Final 4 are the best at what they do. Some may say luck, but llooking deeper, I am sure you will find that preparations started last year at the end of the season.

The term systems in relation to business can be confusing to some. Most business owners in small to mid-sized businesses really don’t think of the team concept as a model for running their own business or draw any parallels to their favorite teams and bring the parallel back to their own business. If an owner did this, they would soon realize that the only way a coach can manage to get a team to the Final 4 is with the following;

Best people (players, coaches, support staff) + systems (the playbook) = National Championship.

According to, one of the many definitions of a system is any formulated, regular, or special method or plan of procedure: a system of marking, numbering, or measuring; a winning system at bridge.

There is no way a coach of a team could book travel, arrange game schedules, scout, practice and play all five positions on the floor, yell at the refs and be National Champions, it is just physically not possible.

If you are a business owner, think of yourself as the Coach. Is it possible to be at the top of your game, doing things yourself, making all the arrangements and playing all of the positions? Many try it. I have, but the reality is if you are without the support staff and players in your business, at some point, you will fail. It may be your health, finances, a customer or something that you missed because you are trying to play all of the positions.

Systemizing your company is the playbook. Every Company should have a playbook for each of the 4 core functions of a business; Marketing, Finance, Operations and Management. It is possible to function as a coach by integrating systems in your business. You as the Owner can rely on others to perform even if you currently do everything yourself. Take the time to create your business playbook in these four areas. Your business and personal life will excel at a rate that you likely never thought possible.

Do you want your business to be the best, the Champions of your market? Consider systemizing your business, you won’t regret it. GO MICHIGAN STATE!

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