John Wooden was most famous for his 10 record NCAA championships during his tenure as the UCLA men’s basketball coach. Although, he always preferred that people know him as a teacher, not as a coach. People that have heard of his philosophy in life and coaching know all about the Pyramid of Success. One of his basic principles for success was the focus on basics. When new incoming freshmen would show up at the first practice, they were taught one thing first, how to tie their shoe laces. Now, these were the top All Americans from around the country and yet he wanted to teach them how to tie their shoe laces? Yes! He actually taught them how to put on their socks first. Now as absurd as this seemed to most people, Wooden had a reason for this. If you don’t put on socks and tie your shoe laces properly, it will affect your performance. Improperly put on socks can cause blisters and untied shoes can cause injuries or problems during games. Doesn’t seem so absurd now, right? If he focused on something as basic as these principles, how much do you think he drilled in on other basketball fundamentals? What’s been lost due to the flash of today’s basketball games are the same fundamentals Wooden taught. How many professional players do you see that can’t shoot a free throw or shoot an open 15 foot jump shot. But, they can jump over everyone and excite the crowd. How many of these type of players last in the league? Not long.
So why the rant on basketball and John Wooden? The same principles hold true for business. You can’t get caught in the flash of social media, or the next shiny object. While these tools are valuable and can help contribute to your goal, you can’t ignore the basics of a great marketing and business plan. You must develop the fundamentals of a strong roadmap for your marketing efforts and your overall business. The first step is to know who your target audience is. Similar to tying your shoes, understanding your target market and your ideal customers are the foundations for your marketing plan. Take the time to know who your target customers are, so you can avoid “blisters” later. Don’t worry about shooting for a three pointer or dunking, until you have the basics down. Think of your best customer and work backwards, until you have a clear picture of who you want. It may seem boring and easy like tying your shoes, but take the time and learn to do it right. You will be happy you did.