Tweak Your Biz » Management » Turn April Showers Into May Flowers

Turn April Showers Into May Flowers



Just like a rainy April sets the stage for flowers to bloom in May, you can use times of adversity to make your business stronger for the future.  Most people don’t like the rainy season, or if they do they’ve already moved to the Pacific Northwest, but these tough times can test your business in a good way that leads to necessary improvements.

Here are some ways you can make the best of the less pleasant times to build a better business.

Turn April Showers Into May Flowers

Raindrops keep falling on my head

Every business has that challenging customer, partner or supplier where every transaction is a complex transaction.  What seems simple ends up involving multiple emails back and forth taking time and attention away from all the other things you want to do.

How do you turn this annoyance into a positive?

  • Identify where the gaps are in your ordering process that open up room for confusion.
  • What can you do to make the process simpler and answer common questions up front?

This won’t only help make the tougher customer easier to handle, but will also make it easier for first time buyers to try out your business.

You’re going to get wet, and pretty soon you won’t be able to get any wetter. So, let’s get going.

This is what my old crew coach told the team as we eased our boat into the water at 6am during what must have been a rare New Hampshire spring monsoon.  As miserable as we all were, we quickly got the point – we were there to practice and we were going to do it, no matter the conditions.  The complaints of us soggy rowers that morning are just like those of a small business owner that’s in a mess – nobody’s listening.

Things fall apart, schedules get mixed up, shipments arrive late.  You’re going to have some tough times, but complaining about them won’t make your customers any happier.  You have a business to run after all and when things happen you have to deal with them. Once you’ve been through a couple challenges, the next ones won’t seem so scary.

I don’t think the bad stuff is going to start coming down for awhile

When I’m not promoting the benefits of specialized insurance for Hiscox, or playing sports with my little boys Walker and Otis, I help out my wife with marketing and operations for her company Junior’s Fresh, a healthy, local meal service for babies and toddlers in New York City.  Junior’s Fresh caters a lot of kids birthday parties.  It’s great to see all the happy kids blissfully munching our food every weekend.

But, if any of you parents have dealt with not one or two, but twenty or more hungry and cranky kids you know that’s just the worst.  For some of the parties we run with our playspace partner, we kept getting urgent requests on the day of the party for food to be delivered up to 30 minutes earlier than the planned time.  This would lead to a mad last minute scramble in the kitchen, stressed parents and party planners and a bunch of kids quickly running out of steam – no fun for anyone.

After a couple fire drills, we took a step back to understand why this kept happening.  We found that although we had a clear schedule in our minds for when each dish would be delivered, this didn’t always match up with the parents expectations from the party planner.  Now we make sure the party planners always clearly communicate the exact time the kids will eat to everyone involved, and then we deliver it 15 minutes before that.  Less stress, less tantrums and fewer tears for everyone involved.

They say into each life some rain must fall – but if you keep getting wet for no reason you’re not learning from adversity. Learn from those rainy days and you can make your business run better, and have less rainy days in the future.

Images: ”Beautiful colourful tulip flowers background in spring / Shutterstock.com

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The Author:

Hunter Hoffmann is Head of US Communications at Hiscox insurance and is responsible for media relations, social media, internal communications and executive messaging. Hunter lives in New York City with his wife and two sons - Walker and Otis. In his spare time, he moonlights as Chief Marketing Officer and deliveryman for Junior’s Fresh, a fresh baby and toddler food delivery service and cafe in New York City founded by his wife, Michelle. His passions in life are food, family and the NY Yankees. http://www.hiscoxusa.com/small-business-insurance/

Add Your Comment

  • http://www.tweakyourbiz.com/ Sian Phillips

    Thanks for this post Hunter. Learning from mistakes and tough times is a must I believe.

  • http://www.hopy1.com hopy

    post meaningful content, I like this content, I read and I laughed. results not wrong, sometimes people we should ask why we like this, life should be fun at times sad, at times sunny rain, it is human emotion and me. this is how I feel when reading this article.

  • hannahlucy07

    Brilliant blog, thank you very much. It seems very well written and I have taken my time to read it thoroughly.

    Help desk Ticket Management

  • Barbara Hoover

    Nice post. Well I believe that every business has to get wet during the
    rainy moments before they reach their ultimate success. It has to be
    something that they need to undergo before achieving a certain peak of
    success. Just like you did, you never quit and instead you made it as
    your chance to work things out and good thing it turned out to be pretty
    much good, thanks for sharing :).

  • Hunter

    Thanks for the nice comment, Barbara. The road to the top is hardly ever a straight one and if you learn from your setbacks they can help guide you on the right path to success.

  • Hunter

    Thanks again for the opportunity to be part of this great community, Sian.

  • Barbara Hoover

    Indeed Hunter.

  • http://growthforce.com/ GrowthForce

    “What can you do to make the process simpler and answer common questions up front?”

    Continually reviewing your processes can not only simplify the way you do business, but it can help increase cash flow. If your payroll process is lagging or you aren’t fulfilling orders in an adequate amount of time, you’re leaving money on the table. Streamlining your internal business processes allows you to collect money faster and take on more business.