What happens when (hopefully) a baby poops in a giant indoor water slide? Well, we had the misfortune of finding out this past weekend when we took our 4-year-old to one. While waiting in an insanely long line up of other freezing parents and hyped up children, all of a sudden red lights started flashing and sirens went off. Sure enough, somebody had violated the ‘no-pooping in the water slide’ rule and everyone was escorted off the structure.
What ensued gave me great fodder for this blog and taught me a few things about what to do when someone took a proverbial dump in my business and what I could do to prepare better for it.
Anticipate The Poop
We all have different kinds of Poop in our businesses. Times when clients don’t agree with you, times when you have slower sales periods, times when you can’t get supply. Poopy times when things are tough.
For example, when my client Ann (not her real name) told me about her dispute with a client, I asked her if she had a process for handling this. Had she made notes of their conversations, had she kept records of her recommendations? Ann’s answer was a nervous ‘no’. If that client had turned around and tried to sue her or demand a refund claiming dissatisfaction, Ann would’ve been ill prepared for that eventuality. Think of the possible sources of weakness for your business and anticipate them as possible outcomes of your every day life. I guarantee when poo hits your fan, you’ll feel better.
Have a Plan To Get Through The Poop
When somebody pooped on the water slides, we had to wait a good 40 minutes for the water to be drained out and fresh (freezing) water to be pumped back in. This was not a good plan to get through the Poop. We were wet, shivering and my 4 year old was most definitely not impressed. What kind of plan do you have to get through your Poop? What’s your contingency when resources dwindle? Does your cash flow allow for a sales slow down? Do you have plans and processes in place with your clients if your delivery is interrupted? If you have no plan, then your clients and customers might be left shivering in their bathing suits (not really, just giving you a visual there to make a point)..
Turn the Poop into Poopular
If the water slide had given us a voucher for a free pop (haha) at their nearby restaurant or coupons for a discount for the next day or brought in extra towels or had instigated a new form of playtime using existing staff who was just standing around, I guarantee we would’ve congratulated the pooping toddler. Instead, we were resentful and left soon thereafter. We don’t have any recent plans to return there.
What can you do in your business to turn the situation around and become even more popular (you won’t believe that autocorrect just corrected what I really meant to write there!) with your clients? If you screw up, can you over deliver on your contract? If supplies run out, can you extend their payment terms? If you disappoint your clients in any way, can you give a value added bonus? You can’t control the pooping but you can control how you react to it!