March Madness is one of my favorite times of the year. The competition is so fierce, and every year we have amazing surprises and upsets. While watching the games, I realized there are some similarities between the tournament and small businesses and lessons to be learned. Today we examine those lessons and how they apply to small businesses.
Here are four lessons to be learned:
Just because you are an underdog doesn’t mean you can’t succeed.
If I told you that Fairleigh Dickinson University would beat Purdue, you would’ve looked at me like I have two heads. And quite frankly you would not have been so far off in your assessment. This truly is one of the great parts of March Madness and the NCAA basketball tournament, anyone can pull the upset.
How It Applies: I meet with companies all the time who feel that they can’t compete with larger entities. However, I point out that the web is the great equalizer and smaller companies can compete with larger rivals. We do this by optimizing their site for search engines, and focus on their core locations. For instance, unit may not be able to compete with a nationwide company, but within your city or town you can rank very highly if not number one. By having a professional looking website, people don’t have to know that you are a small one man shop or mom and pop business.
The experts don’t know everything.
How It Applies: Business consultants and others who are supposedly experts would look down on a small business and try to tell them they don’t have the capitalization to succeed. However if this was true, you would’ve had companies like Amazon starting in their basement. So many of the successful companies in the US started as very small businesses. So keep doing what you do well, and don’t listen to anyone who tries to negatively portray your businesses chances for success.
Suggested Reading: Businesses That Started In Basements »
Attitude and desire can beat greater talent.
March Madness is one of the most exciting times in these young players lives. Most of the smaller schools aren’t going to produce a lot of NBA level talent. So this is the biggest sporting event of their lives. This is why you have 16 seeds winning, the players have such desire and will to win that it overcomes the much higher seated rivals.
How It Applies: as we mentioned in the point above, a lot of businesses started in people’s garages, and turn out to be some of the biggest companies the world has ever known. So while you’re working on your own small business, keep that desire, that will to succeed and you open up a world of possibilities. Roosites knows this firsthand, as we started at the very beginning of the Internet age. If you told us that we’d be in business over 25 years and manage hundreds of websites, I would’ve laughed at you back in the 90s. But we always had that will to achieve and push forward and it has paid off remarkably.
Fresh ideas can overcome antiquated thinking.
When you watch NCAA basketball they always build up some of these coaches who have been around for decades. But what we are seeing is that many of these coaches ideas are not translating into modern day success. NCAA basketball has changed so much over the last few years with the transfer portal, the NIL money and other changes. Now you are seeing some of these younger coaches with fresh ideas beating up on some of the dinosaurs.
How It Applies: as a small business, you always have to be open to new, fresh ideas. Just because something used to work, doesn’t mean it’s going to work now or in the future. So keep an eye on current trends, and changes within your business. Take my business, RooSites as an example, years ago we didn’t have such a thing as responsive design, and we would build separate mobile websites. Fortunately in my business we have embraced responsive design so that our websites look good on all devices. But, there were a lot of late adapters who lost a lot of business having sites that look terrible on mobile devices. While we have development practices we follow, whenever I build a site I always look to see if there is a better way to achieve what my client needs for their business to do well.
“I am not pleading with you to make changes, I am telling you you have got to make them – not because I say so, but because old Father Time will take care of you if you don’t change. Consequently, you need a procurement department for new ideas.” ~Charles Kettering
As Purdue, Kansas, Arizona and other major programs found out this year, there are a lot of surprises in March Madness! Schools like Princeton come in as major underdogs yet go on to victory versus so-called Blue Bloods like Arizona who many picked to win the whole thing. They do this by working harder and having amazing fundamental skills. They make fewer mistakes and overcome lesser skills and size. Ivy league schools have been doing this since the days of the legendary Pete Carril at Princeton. As such they tend to pull the major upsets and I can tell you no one wants to play them in March! As we show above, small businesses can also thrive by learning lessons from the NCAA Tournament and taking advantage of what they have learned.
If you need help with your website, we are here to help, Whether you have an existing website, or if you are in need of a new one, RooSites has been helping small businesses like yours since 1996. Please feel free to contact us anytime.