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Are You Addressing the Black Bears in Your Business?

May 28, 2017

Two days ago, a friend and I were finishing the last leg of a 40-mile, moderately difficult piece of the Appalachian Trail in Virginia. Even though we knew there were black bears in the Shenandoah National Park, I thought the odds of coming face-to-face with one was very remote and quite frankly...I just put it out of my mind.  

Yet here I was at the top of a crest waiting for my friend to finish her ascent, only to hear a loud snort, similar to a horse. Much to my surprise, in a tree about 25 feet from me was a mama bear with her cub. If you don't know anything about bears and hikers, please know this: an encounter like this is one of the most dangerous kind because if mama feels threatened she will protect her cub at any cost. You can't run, because she can outrun even the fastest sprinter. 

Mama looked me straight in the eye and I  immediately looked away. By that time my friend joined me, I very quietly, yet firmly, said "bear" and went completely white. I turned her around and we descended the mountain (making a lot of noise in case other bears were near) until we reached Skyline Drive and walked the rest of our journey (1.2 miles) on the relatively safe, yet curvy, roadway. I don't think my nerves were ever more taxed - yet it was a sight to see - and one I will not quickly forget. 

So it got me thinking....how does this experience relate to business? Here is what I gleamed on my 4-day adventure on the AT. 

Addressing These 3 Business Black Bears 

Here is a quick synopsis of what we did and how it might relate to your business. 

First, we got a lot of different perspectives on bears. 
From our "trail angel" to the employees at the National Park, we were schooled quickly on what to do if we encountered a bear. They assured us bears are relatively harmless unless you threaten them. Don't get too close, take photos, or God-forbid, try to feed them. After all, they are still wild animals. 

Are you getting perspective and listening to feedback about your business, employees and interactions? Having a good knowledge base and being fully aware of your business strengths and weaknesses is the best way to save and grow your business. If people can't find you online, and tell you so, don't ignore or put off that information! 

Second, we knew the chances. 
Many hikers we spoke to never saw or encountered a bear. Or if they saw one, it was a lone cub far off in the woods. The chances of running into bears like we did were remote. 

Are you putting business dangers out of your mind - like cyber attacks, non-responsive website, or poor online reviews? While I understand there are only so many hours in a day, certain things you MUST prepare for in order to stay in business. A cyber attack, on average, can take 45 days to recover from. A non-responsive website will not come up in a Google search and not responding to bad reviews can show you are a callused and cold business, even if you are not. 

Third, we had a plan. 
We knew if we continued on the AT when we saw mama and cub, we would come within 5 feet of them - not an option! We could have retreated and waited for them to move on. Or we could walk back to the road and move forward. 

Do you know what you will do if your website goes down? Do you have a cybersecurity policy? Do you have a plan to increase your online presence? Do you even know which social channels your customers and prospects are engaged on? Proper planning is the key to online success - from a website to a tweet - it all matters in creating a positive, top-of-mind position. 

 

Mulligan Management Group, LLC is Here to Help with Your Black Bears

As a full service digital marketing agency, we are knowledgeable about the dangers you can encounter on the internet. We have the expertise to help develop a great plan based on client feedback, SWOT analysis and digital best practices. Give us a call today at 330-472-7673 to set up your free consultation. 

 

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De-De -

How very astute of you to equate your harrowing experience with a business strategy. Smart woman!!!

As I used to say to my tent mate in the scouts, I don't need to outrun the bear, I only need to outrun you! ;-)

Great way to share the story into a business learning experience.



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