This subject has been cooking in my head for quite a while, and every time I go to write about it, the writing ends up being more than I intended. We’ll see how it goes this time around, because I really don’t intend to overwhelm people with my writing.
Momentum is important to business. It helps leverage the good times to ride out the bad times. It helps leverage the good times to make more good times. It helps even out the roller coaster nature of any business.
When I tell people in the welding world that I’m in the mobile business, those who’ve tried it usually sigh real hard and then say “feast or famine, right?” The answer is typically a big heartfelt “yes,” though in the last couple of years I’ve managed to tame that beast a little bit. What’s the best way to tame it? Momentum, of course.
Like a race car rolling down the track with a low tire, there are always things that drag on business, like overhead, expenses, taxes, government oversight, and so on. While it’s possible to keep this drag under control most of the time, there are always bumps in the road that pull on momentum. Seasonal influences can be almost devastating, especially if a big bump comes along at the wrong time.
For a lot of businesses, momentum is very hard to maintain through the winter months. Life slows down a lot, and then next thing you know the phone stops ringing. Once it starts ringing again, it takes a huge effort to get the pace back up because momentum isn’t there. For Amerivet Services the pace drops off all spring, and then it takes until mid-summer to get the momentum back up. By fall things are going full blast, and then after Christmas we’re back to relying on momentum, which usually carries us a month or so.
With me being the key to anything that happens at Amerivet Services, if I’m “out of the loop” for any reason, whether it’s sickness or a family engagement, the pace of the business will take a serious hit. My mom and I have discussed several times how “no day off goes unpunished.” We both believe that every day off equates to a minimum of two days’ effort to recover. This theory is mostly based on the fact that the rest of the world is still moving even when we’ve stopped for a bit. Regardless, it’s important for a business owner to take time off and get a fresh perspective.
Momentum isn’t just a matter of finances or making the phone ring. It’s a complex matter of factors that are very difficult if not impossible to control. For instance, it’s impossible to control the mindset of potential customers, especially those you’ve never even met. That mindset does play a huge part during slow times. In the same token, the mindset of the business owner and employees plays a huge part, though it’s a little easier to control.
I read a study last year that basically said that it doesn’t matter if employees work inside or outside. They typically are less productive in bad weather. They don’t even have to consciously know the weather is bad. If it’s raining out, or cold, or whatever, people just aren’t as productive. This is hard to combat, and plays a big part in productivity, and momentum as a whole. A couple of weeks ago, I had a conversation with a woman in Texas that needed some work done here, and she didn’t understand that the cold weather we were experiencing would have an impact on people and equipment. It was sunny and 75 where she was, so it shouldn’t be a problem, right? I sure wish she was.
With all this momentum talk over the last few weeks, I’ve decided that one of my new goals should be to develop ways to keep momentum going right through the slow months. I should come up with customers, agreements, and contracts that will allow Amerivet Services to function regardless of the weather, and also provide customers with an affordable service. This is going to take some thought and hard work, but I would like to have at least the beginnings of it in place by the end of this year. I’ll keep you posted.
Meanwhile, please don’t forget that I love to solve problems anytime, any place, any weather. Give us a call, and let’s get your problems solved before you lose momentum!