Spring Training

If you live in or anywhere near a Major League Baseball city, you’ve no doubt seen a steady stream of print and broadcast reports from spring training.  Ballplayers are  running and stretching and working on the fundamentals of the game.  These men are professionals.  Is it really necessary for them to go through such basic training every year when it’s just been a few months since the end of the season.  (Especially in St. Louis, where our world-championship team played well into October.  :-))?

The answer is "yes".  Even the best players have to constantly work on conditioning and the fundamental skills they need to play the game.  The real question is "Isn’t the same thing true for all of us?"  Whatever we do for a living, there are certain basic skills that must be executed well every time we come up "to bat".

Maybe a little "spring training" is in order for us, too.  An article in Monday’s Akron Beacon Journal lists some tips to help your business grow.  Some of them are very basic.  But, as we’ve said here many times, it’s easy to get so caught up in working in the business that we forget to work on the business.  Some of the Journal’s tips are:

  • Regularly review, update, and modify your business plan.
  • Visualize your business in three to five years.
  • Communicate your growth strategy and vision with others involved with your business.
  • Defend your competitive advantage.
  • Recruit and retain the right people.

There are a few others, but notice that these five all involve the long-term.  While it’s critical to give today’s customer the best possible shopping experience, it’s even more critical to plan for tomorrow’s customer.  To go back to the spring training analogy, it’s nice to win games in March, but spring training is all about building for the future, for those summer and fall games when it really counts.

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