Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Blizzard of Opportunity!

I happen to live in the Midwest, and we just enjoyed a massive blizzard that dumped nearly 20 inches of snow on us. The blizzard hit the forecast a couple of days ago, and many people were preparing to be shut in for a few days. When I visited the grocery store, I thought the place was having some kind of “Going out of business” sale. It was beyond packed. Redbox movie kiosks were packed as well. When the storm began yesterday, every kind of media was plugged into the up to date tracking and forecast of this awesome storm.

While it is vitally important to track and warn people about life threatening weather, what lessons can you learn from this and apply to your business?

1. Look beyond the immediate conditions. Things may be going great for your business. Things may be not so good. Conditions change, sometimes overnight (take a look at the sub-prime mortgage businesses that lost everything overnight). Whether your forecast is economic, demographic, or observational; you are always better off having an idea of what the market may do.

2. Run some “What if” scenarios. Even if a storm misses us (because weather forecasts are always 100% accurate!), there needs to be plans in place to handle various aspects of travel, lodging, and EMS. What will you do if you have a competitor move in next door? What if tax rates go up and your customers have less disposable income? What if I lose my main client?

3. Realize that things will pass. While I literally cannot leave my driveway because the street is occupied with a 4 foot snow drift, I know that I will be able to get out sooner or later. People have seasons. Attitudes have seasons. This too shall pass.

Whatever the weather forecast looks like for your business, proper preparation, motivation, and execution will make all the difference in the world when it comes to your success.
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