When we last left off, our Super Hero was making the best of a Sunday gone wrong.
It had rained. It had poured, but I overcame and made a fantastic day of it!
I was pumped to get the week started and could not wait for Monday.
After all why wouldn’t you be pumped when sales are growing, and helping more people, even in the typically slower summer months!
That’s one of the beautiful residual aspects of inbound marketing and content creation; once you create the content, it compounds while living on forever!
I was pumped, and Monday morning could not come soon enough. So much to conquer, and so little time to do it.
With a medium Dunkin coffee, extra cream, no sugar in tow, I arrived at Sunrise HQ ready to own the day.
But as I walked up to the front door I had the sudden realization that now the day would be owning me.
You see there was water streaming out from underneath the door, a lot of water.
The thing was I really couldn’t see how much water was behind the door as it’s tinted.
I unlocked the door and opened it. My heart sank.
It was bad. There was 3-5 inches of water in every nook and cranny of the facility; every office and the entire production area.
The floors needed to be washed, but this was NOT what I had in mind!
My heart sank even deeper. I had the sudden realization that this could be the end of Sunrise Signs!
As much adversity that we had overcome since opening in 2008, and recently celebrating our 3rd birthday in style, this could the final blow.
I had poured my heart, soul, and savings into this business and now was literally watching it wash away before my eyes.
So what’s a little water?
The first five minutes were very emotion filled. I was in utter shock and nearly lost it.
Then a sudden calm came over me. I realized that I had been down a similar road (or river in this case) many times before.
Some things are just uncontrollable. As much as you plan all you can do is react.
When we made a tremendously costly mistake with one of our projects that could have sank us, we didn’t surrender.
Over and over, even before implementing inbound marketing, we’ve overcame adversity, and we were being called upon to do it again.
Reaching Out for Help!
Right after the bulk of the water was pumped out, squeegeed, and extracted, I got a hold of my insurance carrier and briefly smiled once it was confirmed that I had coverage for such a catastrophe.
I also met with my team to fill them in, and communicate the plan I had quickly brainstormed for righting the sinking ship. They went ahead and started calling all of our current customers to let them know what had happened and that we would be doing everything within our power to complete their projects on time.
Part of my gameplan was also to communicate the “event” via our social media networks, and our email mailing list. Just as we answer questions via our blog articles, as with inbound marketing, my goal here was to be completely transparent about the incident.
To take it a step further, I saw an opportunity that is sometimes lost in social media, especially on the B2B side. The opportunity to ask for help, to reach out that we did not know it all, that we have not been through this before, and would really appreciate any suggestions.
Here are the social media and email marketing steps I took:
- Tweet All About it – If there is one thing I learned the Mark Shaefer, it’s to show up, not show off on Twitter. I posted a couple tweets asking my twitter network for suggestions. Also used a couple keyword specific hashtags just in case anyone else with knowledge was listening.
- F is for Facebook and Friends – Here I posted what happened and the call for help on both my personal and fan page accounts. I have some friends who are one or the other, but not both. Also posted some additional contact information in case someone had trouble reaching us due to the building issues.
- Email List – Had a quick email crafted to be sent out to our email list. This also included the request for assistance and contact information.
- Other Social Networks – Posted a question on a sign company owners forum asking if anyone had been through this before.
To My Complete Surprise
Posting to all those accounts, I thought I would at least receive some comments and suggestions from my friends, network, and community.
What I did not expect was how quickly the responses came, and how many there were! I was completely surprised by the outpouring of responses.
Because of the shallowness that can be the online experience, many people including Jeff Goins feel that modern networking is broken. It was really humbling to see that the time spent engaging, helping, and really connecting past the “friend request” was worth the effort.
Here are just a few of the awesome messages I received. There were so many more. I wish I could share them all.
It’s messages of support like these that really make it all worth it, to hang in there, and fight the good fight. These acts of kindness will not be forgotten.
Almost a week has past since the flood and we are holding strong. The office is being repaired, the insurance claim is being processed, and we are preparing for an even bigger return. How could we not with that community of support?!?
It’s going to be a great week. I can’t wait to get going
Has your small business been through some sort of disaster? What happened? What steps did you take to overcome the situation?
Do you think I took the appropriate steps? Would you have done anything differently?