"Businessology" - What executives can learn from their NCAA bracket

It’s that time of the year again. March Madness is in full swing and I’ve discovered that like running a business, selecting an NCAA bracket takes more than just a little luck. While fans make selections based on a variety of factors, the process is much like how I make decisions at my company, TV Ears. After all, these choices require due diligence and shouldn’t be made on a whim.

While there are no guarantees in picking a bracket or running a successful company, there are steps individuals can take to give their "team" the best opportunity at success. Here are three things to consider before making any bracket selections or business deals.

Research
Before inking in any selections, careful consideration and extensive research is a must. In basketball, what does the team lack? Is their offense explosive? Are players prone to fouls? Are they mature enough? It’s not just about poll rankings, but rather, digging deeper and revealing clues. For example, like the 65 teams in the tournament, numerous conferences and trade shows exist throughout the U.S. Due diligence should be performed before a decision is made. Is the event well attended? Is there an opportunity to present on a panel? Research is an essential element and should never be overlooked.

History repeats itself
Many folks have learned at one point or another that history offers great insight into the future. How has the basketball team faired in the past? Do they have a reputation of buckling under pressure? In the business world, the same holds true when selecting partners or retailers. For example, our products have had great success in Costco, Radio Shack, CVS and other retail stores. We know what outlets are going to reach our target audience and aim to ensure we move in that direction moving forward.

Loyalties

There are times when individuals must go with their gut and stick with their loyalties. Since I was raised in Syracuse, I typically select them to go deep in the tournament. Over the years, my allegiances have been rewarded with several Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight and Final Four appearances as well as one National Championship. The same holds true in business. I’ve worked hard to develop invaluable relationships with many folks who have helped support my business since its inception. If you remain loyal, chances are good they will continue to have a positive effect on the business. Ties and bonds matter more than you think.

While "bracketology", the process of predicting the field of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, is a popular phrase that comes up every March, I like to think that companies engage in what I consider "businessology." That is, making predictions year round based on research and other important factors to help put the company in the best position for success. However, it never hurts to have a little luck on your side.

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