It’s cold and wintery here and the ski fields are looking forward to a week of good snow falls to fully extend their skiable areas.

The last 2 weeks have been the busiest time of the skiing year with NZ school holidays overlapping with Australian school holidays and some fields were packed with people but others not so much.

Now that didn’t happen by accident. The best fields had created a huge amount of their own snow and in Cardronas case had moved a huge amount of snow down the mountain to extend the runs and keep all lifts operating.

Many businesses are at the mercy of the weather or other seemingly uncontrollable factors but not all businesses have strategies in place to deal with those influences.

The question is – What external factors exert a negative influence over your business and what strategies do you have in place to deal with them?

One recent example I came across was where a large customer was behaving badly and causing major problems for the business but this was simply resolved with a frank discussion. The discussion of course needed to be well thought out with a clear plan for the future, a back-up as contingency and thorough discussion of the worst case scenarios.

Another was where the middle 3 months of the year dominated cashflow, turnover and focus in the business but simply adding a new product and marketing that product during the busy season produced a flush of fresh customers right after the busy season because there is always a certain amount of lead time between marketing and sales.

A third was a situation where constant interruptions were preventing a key person from getting their hours charged to jobs. Instead they spent all their time on the phone hand-holding and providing support that was largely unnecessary and total unpaid. Simply by making certain times specifically available and having an excellent phone message in place, the whole problem went away with a corresponding increase in productivity and profitability.

In all these cases, external factors were creating problems but by developing systems to deal with the influence seemingly outside their control, the businesses ended up with more control over the situation and more cash in their bank account as a result.

Till then, I’m Jules Radich bringing you more cash and more control.