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How Running A Small Business is Like Coaching a Football Team

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How Running A Small Business is Like Coaching a Football Team

By plester, Former Contributor
Published: September 3, 2014 Updated: September 3, 2014

It may not be something that often crosses your mind, but football coaches and small business owners have a lot in common. Both professions require leadership, dedication, commitment and a strong work ethic in order to succeed. Just like football coaches, as a small business owner, you must take on many roles to ensure everybody is working together as a team to achieve important goals and operations run smoothly. Here are a few other ways football coaches and small business owners play a similar game.


To prepare for a football game, coaches research opponents, develop game plans and determine the best lineup of players who will help the team win. Similarly, when starting a small business, entrepreneurs conduct market research to understand the competition and the key economic conditions and indicators. Entrepreneurs also build a business plan, which sets the strategic framework for the organization and maps out the path forward. In addition, small business owners find top talent who will help them execute the plan and beat the competition.

During the game

Over the course of a game, head coaches make adjustments regularly, shifting tactics to put their team in position to score and win. They consult with assistant coaches to get advice on what plays they should run. Entrepreneurs also make strategic moves to adjust to constantly changing market forces and customer demands. You can get guidance on how to set themselves for success by consulting with experts from their local SBA district office, SCORE chapter, Small Business Development Center or Women’s Business Center.


Coaches typically deliver inspiring halftime speeches that motivate players to give their all and function as a team. You motivate your employees by providing benefit programs and encouraging their career growth through training that will help strengthen their skills. Small business owners also foster teamwork by clearly communicating the importance of each employee’s role in reaching a shared objective.


Following a game, coaches review footage to analyze which plays and strategies did or did not work and what improvements the team can make to defeat the next opponent. At the end of each day or period of performance, entrepreneurs crunch numbers to determine how well the business performed and identify ways to boost profits, cut costs and improve customer service.

In coaching, the job doesn’t end just after one game or one season. The same can be said for entrepreneurs who work hard every day to pursue their dream of starting, managing and growing a small business. And the SBA will be there every step of the way, providing important counseling, training, financial assistance and other resources that are critical to success. Learn more about how the Small Business Administration helps entrepreneurs.

About the Author:

Paul Lester

Former Contributor

I am an author for the the Community, writing about topics that matter to you as a small business owner. Our ongoing goal is to improve this site to meet your needs, so we're happy to receive your feedback and participation. Thanks for joining our online Community here at!


They consult with assistant coaches to get advice on what plays they should run.
A business successfully by "goal" ="goal"
I like the comparison. It's all very much about organising things keeping things tight, is finances and make sure you take your opportunities when they come along. Very good article.
The same can be said for entrepreneurs who work hard every day to pursue their dream of starting, managing and growing a small business
I love a good analogy for running a small business. Thanks Paul! It's so important to never get stagnant. Never get complacent. Always look for areas of improvement, new resources to bring in, new talent, new perspectives. And keeping the talent is key. Encourage and reward your employees appropriately.
What a great post! I'm running a small company and i find it hard to manage the human resources. Thanks for your article. I find myself in it. I'm looking forward to your next posts :)
That is good idea, thanks you so much !
Yes both the career option ask for pre determined way to proceed, as pre & post planning is mandatory for both business & football. Since every business can be blossomed, if discipline is maintained.
Nice tips for me. Thank you so much!
An excellent comparison with neat explanation as to why and how football and small business can be looked at as similar entities. Very innovative and creative ideas. This really gives some great insight into both the fields especially because I am not a football fanatic (not even a serious fan for that matter)and has got me thinking. Running a business is no mean task and so it seems with being a football coach too. Thank you.


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