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Business Lessons from an Incredibly Snowy Year

February 4, 2014

Business Advice for Women Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses

winter

Every morning the top news on Good Morning America, Syracuse Channel 9 News and the Weather Channel is another impending storm racing across America. The storms are even named now. I’m not sure when weather became the main news story of our lives but it seems to be the top story of every broadcast. Most mornings when I don’t have appointments, major events to plan or my son flying with the Boston College Men’s Basketball team, I don’t pay attention to the increased hype around the weather.

But this tough winter weather has provided me with some universal business lessons I wanted to share with other entrepreneurs especially since Pennsylvania’s famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil emerged at daybreak on Sunday to see his shadow, indicating more winter weather is on its way. I hope they help you prepare for and plan for conducting business successfully the rest of this winter.

* After being stuck unexpectedly in Boston for three days with my son after bringing him back to college, I learned quickly how efficiently one can work away from their office in today’s tech connected world. With my son’s laptop, I was able to access 3 of my email accounts, my company website and major vendors to communicate and plan events from afar. Tip: Make sure if you are a solo entrepreneur you have easy access to your computer, documents, phone numbers, and major vendor information from anywhere in the world and make sure you update information in your smart phone or databases so you are prepared to work if you are stuck somewhere.

* Make sure you create collaborative working relationships with repeat vendors so they can work with you if you need to reschedule, postpone or cancel events if a sudden weather emergency arises. Tip: Treat your most important vendors well all year long so they are willing to help you out in an emergency. Let them know you appreciate your relationship by sending periodic thank you notes or giving them small tokens of appreciation.

* If you need to change a major event, create clear and quick communication to all parties involved. Monday I had to reschedule an event for 50 women entrepreneurs because 12 inches of snow is predicted tomorrow where the event was scheduled. I let my guests know immediately and professionally why we were changing the event and giving them an opportunity to cancel their reservation with a full refund if they couldn’t make the new event date. It produced grateful customers who complimented me on my quick action and communication. Tip: Your communication style says a lot about you as an entrepreneur and the professionalism of your firm. Pay attention.

Groundhog-SpringI look forward to when the major news weather stories are focused on warm weather, spring flowers and balmy winds but until then I know I can trust the news and my own communication style to get through the next winter business months. I hope you can too.

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