2018 NBA Finals: An Ultimate Small Business Lesson

small business

If you search long enough, you will find a lesson in almost everything in life. As I watch the 2018 NBA Finals, a glaring lesson became evident. A business lesson that most small business owners fail to learn, and can bring devastating results when not applied.

This year’s matchup between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers is a perfect analogy for teaching the lesson. As we dive into the make up of each team, we can pinpoint why some small businesses achieve their goals, and why some become caught in a horrendous cycle of stagnation. The difference between a one-man operation, and a team.

The Cavaliers have arguably one of the greatest individual players in history. He constantly fills every single stat column with un-worldly numbers, often carrying the entire organization to success. This is an unquestionable metaphor for the typical small business owner. They are amazing at their craft, but at any given minute they could be handling sales, collections, estimating, marketing, and especially implementation of the project. They work countless hours making sure every aspect of their business is functioning.

If we look at the Warriors team construction, we find an extremely different path to success. They have built a team. Through some star player sacrifice, and the trust that comes along with working with top professionals, the Warriors have brought themselves to the height of their profession. This is what it takes to grow a small business, especially one as labor intensive as construction.

If you are like me, there have been days that the menial paperwork feels like a hundred-pound anchor tied to your back. I often complained about no help in the office, lack of qualified applicants for field work, and whatever else I wanted to use as an excuse at the time.  I fell into the same trap that many do, I was doing work for work sake, and thought I was too busy to train someone how to do the job correctly. This was false, and realizing it has been life-changing.

If we want our small business to grow, we must be able to sacrifice and trust others to do work for us. A common complaint is that there is not enough profit to hire additional help. Simply not true. Freeing up a business owners time, and using that time to focus on growth, will always drive more profit than the cost of hiring out some of your work. A business owner should focus on high-value, high-return activities. If it does not meet that criteria, hire it out. There are many inexpensive, and even free services that can remove some of the work for works sake activities.

Is it time to start assembling your team? That depends on you. Do you want to impress people with all the hats you wear in your business, or start hanging championship banners above your desk?

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