Richard Maun – Storm Proof Business?

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Storm Proof Business?

15 December 2013

In Cromer there are two basic types of beach huts – wooden ones, which are parked on the concrete sea front and chained to the wall, and permanent ones made from brick and in no need to be chained to anything. So, if you were choosing a hut designed to survive a storm which one would you go for?

The answer is brick, obviously.

The brick ones get battered during the Winter and tend to survive until the calmer Spring weather. That is until two weeks ago when they were all smashed up and washed out to sea. Both brick and wooden huts were all destroyed by mountainous seas and the effects of being pounded by large pebbles and bits of sea wall. The beach is almost debris free…a few smashed bricks nestling amongst the pebbles, but nothing else. All the chairs and surfboards and cups and saucers and toys and swimsuits and our neighbour’s granny’s bikini (too much information?) all washed out to sea or around the coast to the next beach, out of reach and lost.

I think being a beach hut is a great metaphor for business…we know that there will be economic peaks and troughs, unexpected events and calm sunny days. We can also know that sometimes the ‘business weather’ gets rougher than we have planned for and that even the best businesses take a hammering.

Even if we build our business out of bricks and mortar, instead of wooden planking, there will always be times of great stress, uncertainty and damage. So, my question for you this week is how are you preparing for that unexpectedly difficult situation? Are you:

1) Being proactive with practical sales and marketing activity?

2) Building up a useful pot of cash in a reserve account?

3) Keeping your cash flow forecast up to date?

4) Challenging complacent colleagues to remain alert?

5) Learning from competitor activity, rather than dismissing it as a ‘lucky break’?

6) Ensuring you and your team have regular personal development opportunities?

7) Dusting off your 2013 strategy and refining it for 2014?

8) Talking to a business coach to check out your thinking and test assumptions?

Whatever you ARE doing make sure that you ARE doing something to prepare for the storm, instead of relying on being a solid brick-built beach hut. Our brick hut was washed away, the same as everyone else’s.

…Is your business truly storm proof?

Next week: Will you take the ‘ice cream for breakfast’ challenge?


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