If you’re a college football fan, you can’t deny the success of Coach Kirby Smart in just year two of his tenure at Georgia. Not many people would think to look to Kirby for inspiration, 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… and keep winning… just like Kirby.

This morning when I woke up, I watched this the University of Georgia football team’s most recent hype video and was truly inspired. Not only because of my love of Georgia Football, but because of the lessons you can learn from the video.

Football coaches and small business owners play a similar game:



“Victory doesn’t happen overnight.”

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

“May we never even start to settle, only get up and get better.”

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.



“It’s never been about one man. It’s about a team.”

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.



“May we reap every bit of what we’ve sown and maybe more. Look upon the harvest we’ve grown… and sow again.”

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 UGA SBDC will be there every step of the way, providing important consulting, training, financial education and other resources that are critical to success. Learn more about how the UGA SBDC helps entrepreneurs.



“Potential fully realized never goes unrecognized for long.”

At the end of the day, it’s all about chasing the dream. Just like Kirby, who suffered association with the Alabama Crimson Tide (kidding, of course) and put in the time to study, expand his knowledge, learn from the best, and is now living his dream coaching at his Alma Mater and winning big, you too can find success with a little sweat equity and dedication to making yourself and your business better each and every day.

“It’s never been about a dream. It’s about the work we do to keep the dream alive. We don’t quit, we keep going. We don’t stop, we keep chopping. We don’t defer our dream, we keep working until we see the dream be reality.”

(Source: J. Ashley Panter, Marketing Manager, UGA SBDC)