We all need a Plan B

business planning for a plan B

"Plan A" this morning in Vermont-right at the start of school vacation week-would have been to have blue skies, six feet of snow already on the ground and morning freshies providing the perfect first runs.  Instead, we have...

  • very little snow on the ground from a season that so far has seen very few storms
  • two days of rain, just now turning to flurries with very high winds
  • dropping temps with a forecast of a high of 10 and a low of 0

There is a very technical term that we as riders and skiers use to describe what the result will be tomorrow, and that's the word "bulletproof", which was definitely not in the Plan A for school vacation week.  The only solace in this is that the Stratton snowmaking team is one of the best in the country, and by far, the best in the Northeast, and I've seen them produce miracles in 24 hours...so tomorrow will not disappoint!

Stratton 2022Running a major ski resort in New England is just like running any well-established large corporation with lots of moving parts of people, equipment, marketing, sales machines and cash ... except that it's weather-dependent to a large degree. 


Although the season technically encompasses the period from Thanksgiving through March, the primary use by most vacationers comes down to a few blocks of time:  two weeks during the December holidays, Martin Luther King weekend and this weekend and upcoming week of school vacation.   

My expectation is that Plan B among the highly experienced management team at Stratton was planned six months ago at budget time and put into motion over the past two weeks based on their highly accurate weather forecasting. The result has been increased marketing, differentiated pricing and packaging for tickets and gear, plus 50 plus alternative outdoor and indoor family activities.  Massive snowmaking will begin as soon as the temp drops, and, of course, full crews on the hill tonight and every night for the next week through the rest of the season.   

The question I'm posing today for you to think through this weekend with only six weeks left in the quarter is what's your Plan B?   Most probably you won't be too concerned about the weather, and by now, you have Plans A, B & C for dealing with Covid, but what if...

  • ...you had your top salesperson resign and leave immediately.  Do you have a bench?
  • ...same question for Marketing or Engineering
  • ...one of your products gets recalled or you have a spammed flurry of bad social post reviews
  • ...you had a security breach-software or otherwise.

I could go on, but the list would depress me, and you get the point.  We've not only come through a unique business and personal period in our lives during the past two years, in the majority of cases, we've figured it out because of our drive, our innovation and vastly improved collaboration with and care for one another...but we still need a Plan B!

When I began fine-tuning this blog two hours ago, it was pouring rain falling on an inch of mud from yesterday's rain. It turned to snow an hour ago and is now blue skies once again in this tiny, very unique state of Vermont

Have a great day selling and a great weekend...and maybe a little vacation time this coming week

If it's a Plan A, you need, you should take a look at our new edition of "Writing the Winning Sales Plan in 2022" and just connect with me at any time for any questions.  Connecting is easy to do...always available for quick check-ins here and there.

Jack Derby, Tufts Professor & Sales Coach AN ANYTIME SOUNDING BOARD IN '22 

If at any time this year, you have a need for a confidential sounding board for your 2022 business or sales planning process, just connect with me!  Text or email me, and I'll quickly set up a call.  I'm a very good listener, and we can get deep into tactics if you want. Obviously, no cost for a call or two; just an opportunity to listen intently and make a few recommendations based on decades of experience.


Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts. 





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