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Blocking and Tackling

Blocking and Tackling

They’re not sexy; they’re not even really talked about anymore. However, these forgotten businesses are vitally important and still make up a large part of our economy and people’s lives. I’m talking about non-tech small businesses. Plumbers, landscape companies, gutter companies, and local car repair shops.

In my view, non-tech small businesses have been all but forgotten. Near my home, north of metro Atlanta, every city is in the running to become the new “tech center” for Georgia. There are incubators, venture capital networking events, pitch meetings, and lots of man-buns running about talking about the new applications they are developing.

What I don’t see are active communities geared for small businesses that are not tech focused. Maybe they exist, but I haven’t found them and they are not being promoted as much as tech-focused resources.

The majority of my network is made up of people who either work in non-tech businesses or solopreneurs. That doesn’t mean that technology is not important to what they do, but they aren’t building apps or leveraging computer coding to create their products or services.

Lessons From Old Football Coaches

“It all comes down to fundamentals, blocking and tackling.”

I bet I have heard that phrase or something similar hundreds of times. Most of the time I hear that phrase is when a football team is being taken apart by the competition. Old school coaches never buy into gimmicks or razzle-dazzle, especially when a team can’t execute on fundamentals. Gimmicks and flash are used to cover up a team’s shortcomings. The Hail Mary exists because everything else failed. The fundamentals of the game were not executed well enough to overcome the competition.

Now, I’m not saying that every technology start-up or developer with a new application is all flash and no fundamentals. What I am saying is that non-tech businesses can win with the use of fundamentals – blocking and tackling.

What is Blocking and Tackling for Business?

For me, blocking and tackling are the basics – for football, rugby, and business.

The basics for any business include the following:

  • Watching the bottom line
    • What is coming in vs. what is going out?
    • What are your trends – month over month and year over year?
  • Marketing and customer acquisition
    • How do people learn about you?
    • How do you get them to be lifelong customers?
  • Knowing your strengths and weaknesses
    • How do you maximize your strengths?
    • How do you mitigate your weaknesses?
  • Team building
    • Is everyone on the right team?
    • Is everyone playing the right position on your team?
  • X’s and O’s(Strategy)
    • Have you developed your game plan?
    • Does your team know the plan?
  • Execution
    • Is the team following through with the plan and doing what is needed to win?

This isn’t intended to be a comprehensive list. Instead, it should get you thinking about the fundamentals.

Coach’s Wrap Up

Any business or industry can become sexy when it is winning at the basics.

It’s sexy when the auto repair shop has more business than it can handle and both the employees and owner are happy with each other. It’s sexy when a one-person plumbing business adds a second truck, an office admin, and potentially a third truck. It’s sexy to win at the basics without using gimmicks.

Worrying that you can’t succeed because you’re not a technology business is not sexy. You don’t need to worry about what others are doing, just execute the fundamentals of your business and success will follow.

If you feel like you or your business have leveled out or might be slipping and you could use a coach to check your fundamentals, contact me today. We can huddle up and discuss getting you back to mastering blocking and tackling.


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