The Perfect Storm

4 min read by Andy Smith 13 Oct 2013

The Perfect Storm

The day after watching the film, The Perfect Storm,  I went to meet a key client to review their business plan and marketing strategy.  30 mins into the meeting the part of the film when the weather forecaster was talking about the conditions that were creating this geological disaster came “ flooding “ back to me and I started to relate the circumstances to my clients business.

Those of you who have seen the film or have researched the “ Perfect Storm “ will understand the principle but for those that haven’t, the definition depending on the source is:- An expression that describes a rare combination of circumstances in which the “perfect storm” or “ worse case scenario” is created.

  • Warm air from a low pressure system comes from one direction
  • Cool and dry air from a high pressure system from another direction
  • Tropical moisture created by another storm coming from another direction

My client was describing his business and how a rare combination of events, were occurring. Over the last year his business turnover had dropped and his customer numbers were also decreasing. To add to the problem one of his key employees had left to set up in competition. At this point I could empathise with the situation but we needed to realise what we were dealing with. His business was in the “ Perfect Storm “.

Whether we are in a recession or not, at certain times running a business can be more of a challenge and especially when the following circumstances happen.

  • Warm air from low pressure system = Increase competition so tighter margins from new and existing contracts.
  • Cool air from high pressure = Less enquiries from new customers due to economic pressures including referrals and repeat clients.
  • Tropical moisture = Losing clients through increased competition leading to lower conversions.
  • On top of this my client had been relying on more traditional ways of marketing, had no digital strategy, an average website and was too busy to spend time contacting the 1000’s customers he had touched in the years of trading.

In the film as the storm grows and the conditions deteriorate they have three options, :-

  1. Turnaround to safety and lose the opportunity to catch the fish.
  2. Batten down and hope the storm passes and lose the opportunity to catch the fish.
  3. Drive through it full steam ahead and take the risk to catch the fish.


Whilst I appreciate life and business is not a Hollywood blockbuster there are synergies and lessons to be taken. My client needed a marketing strategy on how he could ride the storm and get the business back on track. Any business with the right strategy can deal with a cold front or warm air but with a perfect storm you need to have a partner and a robust strategy to win new business.

Vision Passion Action

Every business owner at some point made the decision to take ownership of their life, and start the journey in business. Those that excel and realise their ambitions generally have a little luck and a number of key attributes.

Vision, Passion and Action.

Vision –Do you have a goal and a vision?
Passion – Are you passionate enough to make the sacrifices in order to achieve your goal?
Action – Do you have a Specific, measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Time based plan?

With some clients it is a simple case of reminding them of the above and refining the plan.

Score your business out of 10 and see where you currently sit.

Dreamers – Have Vision & Passion but no Action.
Workaholics – Have Passion & Action but no Vision.
Mediocre – Have Vision & Action but no Passion.


Whatever stage your business is at it’s not too late to start and refine than plan.

Let's talk strategy
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