I asked a pilot whether he had encountered those terrible flight storms I read about or watch in movies.
He looked at me and asked: “How can I escape storms when sky is my workstation?” I held breath as he narrated how he has navigated turbulent skies especially during winter in Europe and over Atlantic Ocean. “No pilot is scared of storms.
They know how to handle them. What many people don’t understand is that incidents of rough air are nothing more than a comfort and convenience issue, not a safety issue per se. A storm cannot bring down an aircraft,” he explained.
Business is like flying in many ways. First and foremost, if trading is all you do every day, you will hardly escape storms and turbulent markets and seasons.
Your business will inevitably face the storms of technology disruption, cash-flow crisis, low customers, stiff competition and so on. So, what do you do when you face storm?
First, understand that challenges can hardly knock you out of business unless if you don’t handle them well.
The most dangerous counter to any challenge, whether business or personal, is doing nothing. And the second most dangerous step is unplanned or disorganised reactions.
In other words when faced by any challenge the first step is to do something about it. Whatever you do must be planned and organised.
When your business goes into a turbulent zone, the first step is to protect cash. Ensure you have enough cash to stay afloat and you implement a turnaround strategy.
Make deliberate and targeted effort to bring down expenses and boost efficiency. But this must be done cautiously. Do not cut costs on key things that may affect cash flow or adversely affect your business in the long term.
Reducing expenses boosts profits, but only if the sales price and the volume of sales remain constant. If a reduction in expenses affects the quality of your products, you may need to adjust your price downwards to maintain sales. Otherwise, the whole rationale of cutting cost will not bear fruit.
Secondly, explore ways of growing revenue and increasing your market share over time. This may involve rebranding, developing or modifying or products or changing business line altogether.
Thirdly, think outside the box. Do things differently and don’t be afraid to stand out by marketing your product in a unique way. Some challenges are wakeup call to prod you into tapping opportunities lying within you.