These days, it seems like a little snow shuts down everything. Even when predicted, a little bad weather now disrupts our lives. So what are you doing to do when bad times hit your business?
Don’t get me wrong: Sometimes the weather is really bad. Drop two feet of snow on a city and you’re going to have a crisis. Our friends in Australia can tell you what happens when the rains don’t stop for weeks and floods wipe out neighborhoods. Yes, sometimes there are truly terrible situations that ruin our day, even our lives. Even if they are predicted.
Thankfully, that’s rare.
More often, however, it seems like a little bad weather causes everyone to panic. Maybe it’s our cultural-attention-deficit-disorder: Unless weathermen and websites scream “danger! alert! severe!” they interrupt us from the latest breakfast cereal tweets. Seriously, though, it only takes a few gusts of wind or inches of snow and we’re back to living like it’s the year 1011. School is cancelled. Supermarket shelves raided. Church attendance soars (ok, maybe that’s a stretch). But when New Yorkers can’t even plow their streets in January for three days in 2011, you have to ask:
Remember a generation who used to say, “In my day, we used to walk to school, uphill, in the snow, with no shoes?” Where have they gone? We could use them nowadays – at least their spirit – especially when it comes to business. After three years of recession, and likely another two, it’s going to take some serious uphill-in-the-snow commitment reach your goals.
And that means having a serious snow day strategy.
Most of us have some vague plan for reaching our goals: a few have actually written it out. Still, most of us act as if we have a road map towards success. But what about plans for snow days, indicating possible detours and alternate routes to take to avoid trouble spots on the map?
Your customers would also like to know your snow day strategy. Yesterday, I had a call from a long-time client who was concerned about some rumors he’d heard about us. Yes, I confirmed for him, we were shifting business from previous activities towards new ones; but no, we were not getting out of the business. We simply see a snow storm coming, and we were implementing our snow day strategy.
We’re preparing to make great big snowmen!
In other words, your snow day strategy isn’t just about surviving bad weather – expected or not. It’s your plan to turn those challenges into purposeful outcomes. You can look at a few inches of snow as a crisis in the road, blocking your way, impeding your journey to your destination. Or you can figure out how to turn the unexpected into positive outcomes: snowmen, snow forts, snow cones, even a snowball fight that takes out a competitor.
So what’s your plan when you hear the “weathermen” talking about your markets? Prices might fall like snow, high winds might blow some clients away, and periodically a few breaks in the clouds will let the sun shine through. It’s easy to sit on the beach and bask in the sunny, good times. But it’s going to take a serious plan to make things work to your advantage on inevitable snow days like today.