This spring our kids’ soccer club decided to merge with another local club that we had left after several years.
This change came as somewhat of a surprise but we dealt with it as best we could, discussing scenarios and possible outcomes. As my wife and I were talking through the possibilities I came to the conclusion that the real reason we left the other club was what I coined ‘coaching continuity’.
You see, in the other club(we’ll call them SS Minnow), we were treated like a number. There wasn’t any personalization and in this particular organization, the coaches were very cold, distant and not approachable. So after two years, we left and went to the other club across town.
This new club was a breath of fresh air and we determined that the grass was really greener on this side of the fence (or pitch – in soccer speak) as they provided a full service operation and great training.
The year with the new club went so fast and we really enjoyed the coaching, training and how approachable the two guys were that ran the organization. They not only coached our girls but also trained them. It was a combination of three guys who would rotate in on a continual basis.
Well with the merger of our club and the SS Minnow, I came to realize that what we came to know and love(coaching continuity) would most likely dissipate and dissolve as the two organizations melded their cultures.
On the one hand you have three dedicated young men who worked and trained their teams together and communicated well with the parents. It was a great environment with consistency in communication and continuity in coaching. This familiarity brought trust and the young soccer players were able to develop and learn from three different men with a common goal.
On the other hand you have the SS Minnow that was losing momentum, had failed at a previous merger, did not have an internal training program and the management/coaches were not friendly or approachable.
So the coaching continuity that we had experienced was soon to be lost as the crew of the SS Minnow slowly took over helm and turned what was a great venture into a shipwreck. And club soccer in our little neck of the woods would never be the same.
With all that said…all this soccer talk leads us to your small business and the topic of continuity.
How can you as a small business owner develop and maintain continuity in your small business?
Continuity should be established throughout your business – from your marketing and sales messages to overall branding and merchandising(online or offline).
Continuity with employees and outsourced workers is also important because if you develop a break or crack along the way, then your people will see this and doubt will creep in, just like with the club soccer story above.
Your business is where it’s at due to the blood, sweat, tears and money you’ve put into it. Maybe you’ve even had to merge with another company or take on a partner which most likely upset the continuity in your small business.
To wind it down for today – Continuity is what keeps the business stable. Remember that the next time you look at changing your marketing, sales, consider a merger or joint venture.