If there is one thing coaches love, it’s clichés. There is practically a book of coaching catchphrases that every coach and manager breaks out for pep talks. If you’ve played a sport, you’ve heard quite a few. However annoying these seemingly repetitive catchphrases are, there’s a method to the madness.
The thing about clichés—what keeps them alive and overused in all facets of life—is that there is always a truth to them. Coaches use them because they are what a coach is supposed to say, but coaches also use them because they are, at least in some way, good advice for sports, life and even business planning. With that said, here are a few pieces of classic coaching advice to keep in mind for your startup:
1. Fundamentals: Focus on the little things
There is a tendency to focus too much on big tasks rather than little ones. Playing lacrosse, it was always about trying to work on shooting instead of on catching. It’s great to be able to finish your chances, but you have to be able to catch to be able to shoot. The same is true for business. Before y0u can start your business, you need to make sure your business can succeed. Rather than focusing on funding, office space, employees, and the like, make sure that your product or service is going to support your company. Find your target audience, fine tune what you’re selling, and make sure that your customers think your idea is good. If your product isn’t worth the money to your customers it won’t matter if your office space is fantastic or you have the employees you need. The little things build the foundation for the big ones; make sure you have a solid foundation before you build on it.
2. Teamwork: Trust your teammates
Unless your business is only reliant on one employee, you can’t do everything yourself. While you want to manage your employees, micromanaging them will only stretch you too thin. You hire employees to do work so that you don’t have to do everything yourself so don’t do it all yourself. Hiring quality employees means that you need to trust them to keep up their side of the bargain. You can’t just go charging up the middle of the field yourself every play. Sure, it might work every once in awhile. But you need to trust your team to finish their chances too. Scoring five goals is a good game; scoring twice with five assists is a better game. Your employees are your team. Make sure you choose teammates that can do their job and then do your job; trust your teammates to do their jobs.
3. Consistency: There is no off-season
A good player gives it his or her all every single practice. A great player makes that effort a consistent, year-round output. Putting in effort when you start your business isn’t enough. If anything, you need to put in more effort planning and continuing to grow your business than starting it. You need a plan. Creating a business plan is the first step towards success. Figure out how you are going to turn your idea into a reality before you start. If you try to do it on the fly you are going to fail. Don’t wait until the season starts to prepare: do it now.
4. Effort: Don’t start unless you’re committed
Starting a business is hard work. It’s going to be difficult. It’s going to be stressful. You’ll probably have nights where you can’t sleep and you’ll have mornings where getting up and getting after it will be the last thing in the world you’ll want to do. But owning your own business may well be the most rewarding thing you will ever do. Small businesses are amazing. They are the backbone of the economy. You will get to be your own boss, call your own shots, and spread your idea with your community and maybe even the world. Before you start, you need to be sure that you are 100 percent in. Starting a business takes commitment and dedication; if you are unsure, you are better off not trying. But if you’re certain this is what you want, give it your all and make sure that you do everything you can. You will make some mistakes along the way, but make those mistakes at 100 percent of your effort. Give it your all every single day until you can look up and see your sign above your business. The goal is worth the hits along the way.