The Lake Tahoe region is a resort area that relies on Mother Nature to deliver snow during the winter to help businesses thrive in one of the busiest times of the year – the Christmas holiday season.
This past November, Lake Tahoe experienced one of the warmest and driest months that I can remember. It was wonderful for mt. biking and other summertime activities, but it spelled disaster for local businesses that rely on visitors to book their ski vacations during the last 2 weeks of December.
The mountains were brown going into the first week of December until the dismal outlook started to change. Snow arrived. And then more came. One storm after another. When we reached the end of December, Lake Tahoe recorded a record month of snowfall – more than 16 feet in less than four weeks! Local businesses breathed a sigh of relief while residents went into hiding to avoid the mass crowds. Another successful holiday season after all.
Many businesses and professionals can face similar types of “droughts”. Months can go by with poor revenue results. Forecasts can look grim yet can turn on a dime with a little bit of luck and good fortune. It could be landing one big client or a series of smaller clients. Either way, it can happen quickly and unexpectedly. It goes without saying that continued hard work will increase the odds of turning the tides.
This is a good time of year to reflect on 2021 and think about what worked and what didn’t. Making small (or large) modifications to the business and/or business development efforts might be what it takes to change the business trajectory in a more positive direction. Sitting on your hands and continuing to conduct business as usual will most likely not move the needle in the right direction.
Also, keep in mind that a successful business is not always based on quantity but also quality. Many professionals had a record year last year. For those of you who experienced this, congratulations. The question you still might ask yourself is how much of that work was quality work. That is, how much of the work aligned with your core competency and passion. Were you mostly landing your ideal clients and matters? If you can answer “yes” to that question. Excellent! Keep it up. If not, then this is a good time to look at how you can proactively target clients and referral sources that will help you meet your Ideal Client and Preferred Work goals this year.
Improving one’s business can take hard work, focus, and patience. It can also be supported by luck and good fortune like we experienced in Lake Tahoe this past December. I never thought I would be smiling so much while shoveling snow three times a day last month. It was an important reminder that outcomes can change quickly. These reminders are often what fuel our fire to stay focused, driven, and positive even during difficult times of drought.