Planning is not only a key to success in professional football, but to business, as well. This Balboa Capital blog entry examines some proven lessons from the football field that can be applied to your small business.

Be a great leader

It goes without saying that great teams have great leaders. As a small business owner, you can lead your team of employees to greatness by recognizing their hard work, listening to their input and empowering them when it comes to certain business decisions. Make sure that everyone at your company fully understands your short- and long-term goals, and that you lead by example on a daily basis. Nothing is more inspiring to workers than having a CEO who is fully engaged in day-to-day tasks and responsibilities.


Football players need to practice to improve their skills and remain competitive. The same goes for you and your employees. Staying on top of the latest developments in your field and taking the steps necessary to enhance your abilities and knowledge can help give you a competitive edge. And it doesn’t require a big investment in time, money or resources. You can purchase books, journals and industry publications that are relative to your business to gain insight into market trends. It’s also beneficial to become a member of professional business associations so you can network with your peers and share success stories. Lastly, your employees can step up their game by attending workshops or training courses.

Pick a captain

Owning a small business is extremely personal and perhaps the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. Because of this, it’s only natural to want to wear a bunch of hats when you come to the office each day. However, being involved in too many business matters can prove to be a detriment to your company. That’s why you should delegate certain responsibilities to a key staffer who has all the attributes required of a team captain. This will free up your time and allow you to focus more time and energy on the most important business tasks. If your company has a number of employees and several different departments, consider selecting a manager for each.

Study the competition

Football teams study hours upon hours of game film to see what their opponents are doing. If they didn’t do this, they wouldn’t be prepared on game day. You can’t run a successful company without looking at what your key competitors are doing, either. Whether they are introducing new products or services, expanding their operations or launching new marketing initiatives, you need to know. More importantly, you need to have a plan in place to lessen the impact of your competitors’ actions. For example, if a competitor suddenly lowers their prices, you might want to promote “outstanding customer service” and “higher quality” in your online and offline marketing efforts. You can keep a watchful eye on your competition by periodically visiting their websites or doing a simple Internet search.