SMBs And Athletes: Both Need The Same Fire

Maryann Menendez

Small and midsize business (SMB) owners and athletes are ultimately driven by the same type of ambition and desire to excel.

It’s funny how my personal and business lives intertwine at times. Ever since I watched the Olympics this summer, along with the start of several sports that launch their seasons in late summer and early fall, I’ve been thinking about the similarities between SMB owners and athletes.

Here are three ways they are alike, and how SMB owners and entrepreneurs can stay sharp to win their competition against other companies.

1. Reason

Athletes have a special talent, polished to a razor-sharp edge, that allows them to excel at their particular sport.

SMB owners and entrepreneurs also provide a particular product or service, and they work hard to make it the best it can be. But daily polish is needed to ensure that everyone’s at the top of their game.

Both must practice incessantly to perfect their craft—athletes to stay fast, sharp, and strong; SMB owners to perfect their product or service so that it remains relevant to both current clients and potential customers.

2. Innovation

Athletes are constantly learning innovative training techniques; buying better, more comfortable gear that will take hundredths or thousandths of seconds off their time; and making adjustments so they can swim faster, jump higher, or throw the ball further.

SMB owners and entrepreneurs must make sure they have the most innovative systems and software in place to make their products and services more attractive, usable, and worth buying.

3. Visibility

Athletes compete at city, state, and national athletic events to get the visibility they need to become professional, win national championships, earn gold medals, and/or get endorsements. This is where they put their talent and innovation to work.

For SMB owners  and entrepreneurs, keeping the doors open for business isn’t enough. You must train daily and consider yourself a competitor at the city, state, or national level as well. It’s important to make sure others know about your product or service. To maintain a winning advantage, you must always be easy to see and find.

At the finish line

As an SMB owner in today’s digital economy, you must be first to the finish line.

See how your small to midsize business measures up in the digital economy.


Maryann Menendez

About Maryann Menendez

Maryann Menendez is a Director for the Global Indirect Channel, Global Channels & General Business team at SAP. Her specialties include Strategic Planning, Channel Partner Campaigns for SME and ERP, and SME Live Business Awareness and DG Paid Media and Advertising.