Avoid Bad Decisions in Bad Times

Rain – we have had a bit of here in the Flatland as of late. OK, you’re right – we’ve had nothing short of  “a ton o’ rain” in the past few weeks. It’s brutal. There is no doubt that we are all sick of it. It affects us all. It affects us from a recreational perspective – whether your kids miss ball games or you miss camping, golfing, biking and the list goes on. It affects us from a business perspective – landscaping companies, farming, construction, excavating and the list goes on.

The business perspective is the hard one to deal with. Your livelihood has been affected by something that is beyond your control. In these trying times one must make sure that you control how you deal with it. Don’t chase the bad times with a bad business decision.

Rainy Golf Day

I recently volunteered for a golf tournament fundraiser on a day (June 17th) that saw some people giving consideration to building an ark. The rain had been coming down for over 24 hours and our 1pm shot-gun start was not looking so good. We had some foursomes phoning us that morning and cancelling out – rightfully so – based on not wanting to play in the Saskatchewan monsoon rains. Our tournament Chair was in contact with the golf course who insisted that they were not cancelling the tournament due to weather. In other words, they were not willing to give up the revenue even though the experience for the organization, the players and the sponsors would have been brutal.

The Bad Decision

The only “out” for our organization was to postpone but in order to do so the golf club was going to have to charge $1500 for the thawed-out steaks. This seemed reasonable enough until our Chair asked for the steaks as the organization was paying for them regardless. Interestingly, when he picked them up from the course that afternoon the meat was still frozen. The golf course had lied and they were caught in the lie. The end result is that the “more than accommodating” organization paid the “unthawed steak fee” and actually re-booked with the same club but I would bet money on the fact that this tournament will move to another golf course in 2012.

Turn the Negative into a Positive

Clearly the inclement weather was beyond the control of the golf course and the organization in question. How refreshing would it have been to have the golf course manager tell us that he would re-book at no charge. He could have even offered up discount vouchers to distribute to the golfers we had booked in the tournament to “kick start” his traffic flow when the sun began to shine again. He could have turned this brutal weather situation into something where he (and his course) were applauded on Twitter, word-of-mouth and by being named in a positive fashion on blogs and other posts.