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Reading Rough Water

Reading Rough Water

Part 1

The odds of running rapids without hitting rocks, getting snagged by submerged trees or occasionally getting knocked out of the boat are slim to none. Behind every adventure in Northwest Montana there’s risk and skill required to tell a happy story around the campfire.

The same can be said for your business. How do you successfully navigate a season, quarter or year? When you capsize, do you have a plan to flip that business upright? How much cash do you have in reserve for an emergency? Can you live on those savings for 3-6 months?

Our friend pumped air into the raft chambers. “Gotta have the right amount of pressure to skim over obstacles,” she bounced her hand on the rubber as my daughter, Michelle applied sunscreen. I grabbed dry packs and life vests out of the rig. My husband and son-in-law carried the cooler. Everyone had a task that would affect the success or failure of the day.

Opening a business means you’re a risk-taker. Prioritize for project failure, credit or cash flow snafus, and how you’ll cope in this uncertain financial market. You also need the right products or services at a price point where the customer perceives value. Quality must be consistent, following industry standards and those you set and attain.

If our raft hadn’t been maintained, we’d be in trouble. If the guys forgot to put beer in the cooler, there’d be mutiny.

Spirituality is found riding a stretch of water scoured from mountain peaks under an umbrella blue sky. God doesn’t need a marketing plan, but you do. Traditional newspaper, radio, and direct marketing give a confined message, but social networking is the game to play. Increase sales through free craigslist, facebook community pages, and twitter. YouTube and Periscope videos offer your customers education, make you an expert resource and shows passion and character.

We felt prepared to ride the middle fork of the Flathead River. Taking a swig of beer, I didn’t foresee the danger ahead.

Dawn Peterson

About the Author: Dawn Peterson.