Who’s on your bench?

Baseball benchBaseball season is back and I (Travis – the biz dev guy) couldn’t be happier. I’ve always been a huge fan of the game. I love thinking along with the manager and trying to predict what the next move will be. Do you hit and run, do you steal, do you pitch out? Baseball gives fans much more of an opportunity to armchair manage because there’s no clock counting down. This can be both good and bad for the actual managers who are constantly second guessed about every minute decision.

I’ve got even more of an appreciation for how hard that job is after coaching my son’s little league team. You’ve got kids of various abilities and interest levels all on the same team. You want to make sure you’re giving all the kids the attention they need, all while worrying about the overall productivity of the team. Am I spending too much time coaching this one child? Was that the right decision for the team? Even at this young age there’s plenty of second-guessing to go around and that’s just from the coach himself!

Business can be the same way. There’s a lot of things to worry about. Do you have the right products? Enough inventory? The right staff? The right location? The questions go on and on and you’re always re-evaluating based on new information. The key in business is often the same on the baseball field. Be confident in your decisions and surround yourself with quality people.

Baseball managers aren’t expected to go it alone. They have hitting coaches, bench coaches, base coaches, strength coaches, trainers, and a host of other staff to help the team succeed. Even at the little league level we have assistant coaches, parents and league officials there to assist us in making sure the kids get a quality program.

Each business has to have people they surround themselves with to be successful as well. Lawyers, Accountants, suppliers, and more all help make a business successful. Most businesses seem comfortable hiring those services, but marketing can often be overlooked. Businesses may think they can’t afford it, or that they know how to do it (and for the record – some do). Many know their business and think that by opening the doors, like the famous baseball movie says, “people will come”. They quickly find out this isn’t the case. If this is the situation you’re in, or one you want to avoid, talk to a company that specializes in marketing communication and see what a difference surrounding yourself with marketing experts can make.