The Gift in the Snow

I don’t know about you but I’m sick of it now, the snow that is.   It was alright a week ago, deep and crisp and even.   But its just getting on my wick now and getting in my way, the way of my progress.   Its making everything harder.

My sympathies are with you if you live in a part of the UK or the world where you are weeks into the snow, not just one week as I am.

Snow’s always a bit of a novelty when you are young, or if you’ve not seen it for a while – or ever.   And it makes everything look lovely, especially lovely on some of those clear sunny days last week, just like a Christmas card.

But all its done is delay everyone’s return to work by a week, when the country couldnt really afford that, when our businesses couldn’t afford that either.

But regular readers will know this isn’t me, this doom and gloom take on things, so I began to wonder… where is the gift in this snow?

To some extent it was OK for me; I hadn’t planned to go far last week anyway.   After a month off I had built into my January taking the first few days as a buffer week which meant I could catch up with the emails, post and accounting which had accumulated during my holiday and plan my year.

Nevertheless, I had to cancel the dental hygienist and considered cancelling the beautician and even attendance at my nephew’s 18th.   Then I pulled myself together and took the car out and got over my fears of driving in the ice.   I got my confidence back after the snowy accident I had LAST February.

And as soon as you get out and about you gain a perspective and you learn stuff.   Useful stuff.   Useful stuff which you can apply back at the home office/shed.

At the beauticians I heard that they had lost a week’s takings in both their two salons due to appointment cancellations caused by snow.   It was the usual tale of woe of a small business with staff and premises, so much to pay for, such a struggle.

Cleverly they had already negotiated with their landlords to reduce their rents on both shops by 25% but still, with the loss of a whole week’s takings, they were struggling to pay even their new, lower rents.  

And yet, all the while, I noticed the phone ringing.   I said” what’s going on? Are you running a special promotion or something?”   Yes, of course they were.   In a ploy to fill the shop and get all the staff columns full, they had texted their clients and offered them all a half-price facial and the phone was ringing off the hook.

Never ones to say die, they had worked out what would bring folks out of their homes in the snow – a BARGAIN!

So, whilst your gift in the snow may not be the same, I believe there may be a gift in the snow for all of us.

And if you haven’t spotted yours yet, have you got the metaphorical shovel out of the garden shed and dug deep enough?   Have you got the virtual salt out and sprinkled it on the icy paths and cleared a way through?   Melts like a dream it does.

An esteemed coaching colleague told me on Saturday that one of the world’s leading retailers of personal development materials was having a half-price sale.   That’s a household name.   Everyone’s at it!   No shame, far from it, time to try your hand too.

What can you do to get the tills ringing in your small business?   Look at spare capacity which is a fixed overhead, like under utilised staff.   What can you do to tempt business in which will fill up their capacity and get them paying their way again?

What stock can you shift to take the money off the shelves and put it back in your bank account and give you a much needed cashflow boost?

What overheads can you reduce with a bit of re-negotiation?   Are you frightened of approaching the taxman or your landlord with a plan?   Why?   Everyone’s in the same boat, could there be a better time to do that?

What’s the gift in the snow for your small business?

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