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David Brown

David Brown: Why Your Business is Like Basketball




It’s the little details that make the difference.

This article originally appeared in the April 2016 edition of INSTORE.

business advice for jewelers from David Brown

If you have played or coached basketball, you will know its similarities to business. The duration of the game is your financial year, the staff are the players, the fans are the customers, the court is your store, the opposition is your competition, the ball is your inventory and the hoop is your bank account.

You are the coach. As a business owner your mission is to keep the customers happy while utilizing the staff to get the inventory through your bank account as often as possible, heading off your competition before the financial year ends.

You are still the coach. A good coach makes sure his staff practices regularly and is aware of the tactics of the team. A good coach knows what the opposition is doing but still plays his own game and lets the opposition chase his team.


A good coach makes sure the players know the score and are used to handling the ball, is aware of the individual performance goals of the team members and can change tactics with two minutes left in the quarter. He knows the individual strengths of each player and who is the go-to option when there are four seconds on the shot clock. If the players fall behind a good coach knows what to say to get things back on track.

A good coach makes sure the team members have what they need to do their job. A good coach will make the team practice and practice. If the key shots aren’t dropping then they will work on it over and over again at practice until it is right.

A good coach doesn’t just measure the score but the individual key performance indicators that make up that score. Time in possession, turnovers, shooting percentages, rebounds, fouls, rejects, time on court… not only collectively but individually for each player because a good coach knows that the overall score is a function of a thousand small things put together that serves to create a whole — that one shot consisted of a thousand thoughts and actions that were added together to make one seamless result, and that the result needs to be repeated over and over to get the most shots in the hoop and win the game …

And if you think any of that was about basketball, you need to read it again.

David Brown is president of the Edge Retail Academy. For information about the Academy’s management mentoring, contact or (877) 569-8657.




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