Now that National Football League and players have reached an agreement on a new 10-year labor deal that officially ends the lockout, at least one person thinks the four-month-long negotiation process offers lessons for small-business owners.

“What the NFL has done here, is to keep focus first on the fan experience, with the belief that everything else that’s good [about the business of football] will fall into line after that,” says Roger L. Martin, author of Fixing the Game: Bubbles, Crashes, and What Capitalism Can Learn From the NFL(Harvard Business Press, 2011). Martin is a co-founder of Cambridge, Mass.-based strategy consulting firm Monitor and serves as dean of the Rotman School of Management at Canada’s University of Toronto.

“That’s a recipe for success for any business,” says Martin.

An executive committee of players and team representatives voted today in favor of a version of a proposal that was agreed on by the owners last week. Issues that were ironed out in the new collective-bargaining agreement include a new revenue split between owners and players, a $120 million annual salary and bonuses cap per team, plus new salary rules for first-round draft picks.

A number of teams are expected to open for preseason workouts as early as Wednesday.

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* Article is courtesy of Entrepreneur Magazine

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