Small Business Matters: Is your team – Starters or Bench Players?

Is your team – Starters or Bench Players?
By Verna Lee
OhioMBE – July 1, 2014
My son, Scooter Lee, always provide sports analogies to most life situations.  So I have taken the liberty to borrow a few of his throwback phrases for suitable translation to small business practices.

As he says,  “Quarterbacks guide their team to victories.”   In like manner, so does an owner of a small business! Directing their company to successful solutions and profitable outcomes is a victory.   The ball rests in their hands.  What a weighty responsibility that is!  As a leader, you set the tone and determine the direction by which all company activities flow!   Thus, the orchestrations of the plays are critical.  When you play to win, close scrutiny must be applied toward every integral part of your business including the intricate details and development of professional presentations, company literature, and social media presence.   Sound human resources policies / practices and management philosophies should be developed as you maintain quality employees and closely monitor your financial health among other details.

Having the right players on your team is the first order of business.  Sports teams trade unsuitable players.  Similarly, as an owner, it is your job to not only hire smart, but to replace ineffective team members.  As in any sports game, plays are calculated, studied, practiced, and implemented.   To have a successful operation and be profitable, business owners must keep their “eyes on the ball” and their team.  Thus, is your work team watching the plays of your competitors?  Internally, are they monitoring declining sales, high overhead, break- even analysis, cash flow, and other business concerns? Other than you as the owner, who can quarterback your team? Who has similar talents, skill sets, and leadership abilities to guide your company to victorious outcomes? Do you have a first string lineup with the ability to increase productivity or do you have unproductive bench warmers who are just taking up a seat?  Are your team players professional and respectful in their work conduct, speech, mannerism, and business etiquettes? What are your answers to these thought provoking questions?

Naturally, we love winning and desire being on the championship team! However, it takes work!

Reminiscing, I recently asked my son what team did the Baltimore Ravens play when they won their first Super Bowl championship.  Scooter replied by saying, “Hmmm. Let me think.  Mommy, no one remember losers! Only winners go down in history!”  Indeed, that is true!  Therefore, as leaders of our small businesses, our teams must have winning combinations!  The ball may not bounce back into our court if we miss the catch!

Vernalee is a respected entrepreneur in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Lee is also a freelance writer for a number of publications.  She is the published author of “I’m Doing Me” and “Stuff We Talk About.” Follow Vernalee at her daily blog, and Lee can be reached at


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