What Your Small Business Can Learn from the World Series

Author: Justin Reynolds | October 23, 2016

For small business owners who are also baseball fans: Though it seems as though Opening Day was just a few weeks ago, with another baseball season is already wrapping up.­ The 2016 World Series is slated to begin on Tuesday, Oct. 25. It remains to be seen which team will emerge victoriously, but one thing is certain: The games will be exciting.

As you sit down to watch the World Series, remember that the sport doesn’t have to exist in a bubble. For example, there are a number of lessons you can learn from the World Series—which can be applied to your small business.

3 Small Business Lessons from the World Series

  1. Don’t become complacent

Teams enter the playoffs having already played 162 games during the regular season. To be sure, that’s a lot of baseball, but the playoffs are when the real action begins. Making it to the World Series requires winning at least seven games in the postseason, and as any baseball fan would tell you, games played in October are much more intense.

Though they may be exhausted as the season winds down, baseball players need to be on top of their game if they wish to take home the World Series trophy. To win, they need to play the best baseball they’ve played all year.

Similarly, your small business has entered the final stretch of the year: Q4. While you may be tempted to rest on your laurels and reflect on your successes of the first three quarters, don’t become complacent. You don’t want to let your great “regular season” be spoiled by a poor showing during what can be the busiest time of the year for many small businesses (i.e., the holiday season).

  1. Winning takes a team effort

Baseball is a team sport. There are 25 people on each team’s roster for the playoffs.

There will never be a World Series won solely because of the efforts of one player. Yes, certain guys can come up with big hits, crucial stolen bases, exceptional defense, or phenomenal pitching performances. To win the World Series, a lot of players need to contribute.

The same holds true for your small business. You can’t expect to reach the next level if you’re doing everything on your own. If you want your business to be as productive—and therefore as successful—as it can be, you need to leverage the talents of all of your employees. Let different workers play different roles—just like on the baseball field.

Additionally, you also need to invest in your employees’ growth and professional development. There’s a reason 30-year-old men who’ve been playing baseball since they were kids and make millions of dollars still take batting and fielding practice on a regular basis.

  1. There’s always next year

There are 30 teams in the majors. Only one of them will win the World Series this year.

While this year’s runner-up will undoubtedly be upset that they didn’t take home the top prize, they’re still going to go home with either the NL or AL pennant—which certainly isn’t too shabby.

Even if your company doesn’t obliterate the competition this year, there’s almost certainly a lot to be proud of. Chances are you’ve done a lot of great work in 2016, improving your performance year-to-year in at least some areas.

Don’t let proverbially coming in second place deter your small business. Work hard during the offseason and come back even stronger next year. Play your cards right, and your small business will be the one taking home the trophy next year.

Here’s to an exciting and enjoyable World Series!

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