After we were hit by Hurricane Sandy, my thinking about the value of hardship to my small business changed drastically.
Hardship handled properly can actually be a great reason to change – and if there’s enough trust among employees they can summon up the courage to tackle some tough challenges.
So, you could say that hardship promotes innovation.
In our case there were lots of problems and worries about mold, health, ability to rebuild, finances, etc. And naturally the storm hampered our corporate headquarters where all sales and administration were located. But we used the storm – and fought hard to overcome the problems. We fought tough with the insurance company to ensure we would be reimbursed for our flood damages (in accordance with our flood policy).
We fixed the flood damages to our manufacturing rooftop – that was blown away and damaged in the hurricane. We reached out to our long-term relationship of contractors (building, lighting, electric, IT, HVAC) to work together to fix our structural damages and rebuild our offices. We worked very closely with our IT company to upgrade damaged workstations and routers and switches. We built a new dedicated Server Room with new equipment and dedicated cable runs to improve performance. We worked closely with our Professionals in the SBDC (Jersey City), banking, insurance, Credit Card processors, and technology vendors to rebuild. We looked at operations to improve cash collections, sales, marketing, production, and HR.
So in summary: We used a problem as a tool for self-reflection and improvement. Sounds corny but it’s the simple truth.