Examining the Defense – Not Offense – of Business

by Shonali Burke on March 16, 2010

Remember the saying, “offense sells tickets and defense wins games championships?”

We yell, scream, hug strangers and plain go crazy for a touchdown, home run, slam dunk or goal. It’s what we come to see, what we pay money for and what gets our hearts pounding.

But lately I’ve been thinking, what about the defense? Aren’t these plays equally important? What would happen if the defense didn’t play?

Does anyone specifically come to see the sack, catch, block or save?

The offense of business

In the offense of business, we congratulate each other for getting a new client, landing the account or closing the deal. We networked, followed-up, went to lunch, had meetings, sent emails, made phone calls, did more follow-up and eventually got the brass ring.

We were playing offense, attacking, going for the score. Regretfully the defense is often underutilized, overlooked and ignored.

Let’s consider the defense of business.

Website and online profiles.

You and your business have to be searchable on the Internet. A website provides clients a sense of legitimacy about your business, and according to research from eMarketer (login required), 70% of consumers trust brand websites. Long gone are the days of “letting our fingers do the walking.”

Business cards.

A good business card has your name, your business’ name, with correct and complete (email, website, profile URLs, land line and mobile numbers) contact information.

Creativity is nice; however, this is not the time to use every color in the box of 64. And don’t forget to use the back of the card, its wasted space, therefore wasted money.

Say it loud and say it proud.

Can you convey your passion, products and services in the time it takes to cross the street? Can you tell me what your business does in 15 seconds or less? Can your family and friends tell others what you do in order to generate referral business?

Hardware and software.

Now is the time to upgrade from your 199X desktop to a laptop or notebook from this century. You want to get the latest operating system to offer more functionality and the new hard drive will provide more memory. Further, if you need some information from your computer, it will be with you.

If you do not have the resources at this time, do not make the investment… use what you have until you can get what you want.


These are the uninteresting, tedious things we must do to manage a successful enterprise: register with our city or county for a business license, keep track of every single solitary receipt. If you’re working from home, some local governments require a zoning permit, and protect yourself via an umbrella insurance or LLC.

Often entrepreneurs are so busy doing business, they forget to manage and maintain their businesses.

These few defensive steps go a long way to making your offensive work more productive and more fun.

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Image: Creative Commons, Bernie Zimmerman

Shannon MoutonShannon Mouton is the social media and mobile marketing manager for an online higher education institution. She is passionate about utilizing social media for the greater good, information sharing and networking. Shannon has nearly 20 years of community building, outreach and relationship marketing experience. She is the owner of The Mouton Group, a real estate investment firm, and a principal at Topaz Consulting, a public relations and marketing consulting enterprise. She serves on the board of directors for the In Series and a regular volunteer at Calvary Women’s Services. Her blog, Shannon Sez So, examines life, its joys, pains and idiosyncrasies. Shannon is also a contributor to Gridiron Gals, as a die-hard fan of the Washington Redskins. Contact her on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.

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