9 Ways Your Business Is Like Baseball

Every year around this time, I find baseball analogies everywhere. Spring training is underway, and for a baseball fan like me, it’s a hopeful time when my team has the world ahead of it and anything is possible. Everything reminds me of baseball.

That said, business planning and baseball, spring training in particular, have a lot in common. So here’s my list of 9 ways running a business is like baseball.

Choosing your team – Item one on the spring training agenda is nailing down the roster. Contracts were taken care of over the winter, so teams already know what stars will be playing where. But the utility players, the rookies, and the guys on the verge… Spring training is the time for those players to show managers and coaches what they can do. And for the coaches and managers, they’ve got to look closely at the talent in front of them so they can figure out who’s going to help the team win today and who’s going back to the minors.

Sound familiar? One of the hardest parts of running a business is hiring and managing your staff. Startups have a spring training season of their own, as they hire the first employees who are going to help them make their business a reality.

A good company makes sure their employees are “in shape” by giving them the tools they need to do their jobs. Whether this means updating computers or software, offering education and training so your crew can stay abreast of changes in the field, or providing benefits that help you maintain a healthy workplace, staying on top of these issues and making sure everyone’s ‘in shape’ will pay dividends in the long run.

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How is this like your business? You can’t just think about your product as the be-all end-all. How is it delivered? How do you follow up? The experience your customer has with your company can make or break their overall view of you and your products. Filling the seats isn’t enough. You want those seats filled by people who are happy they came.

Sounds a lot like planning a business, doesn’t it? Crunching numbers is pretty boring, unless they’re your numbers and you have a deep interest in what they mean. Pay attention to the details of your business, and you’ll be rewarded.

The most successful entrepreneurs and business owners do the equivalent. You don’t need video to look back at what you did last year; figure out what went wrong (or right!) and put that to work for your future.

If you learn anything about business from baseball, it should be that planning and adjusting are the keys to success.

And don’t forget the hot dogs.

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