I’m not a pilot.
But I’ve heard enough stories about stalling a plane to know. Plane crashes due to stalling are usually avoidable.
Here’s what happens.
For whatever reason the plane doesn’t get enough airspeed across the wings to stay lifted. So it starts to stall. The pilot has to do something to fix it.
The pilot basically has two choices. Pull up. Push down.
Pull up and the plane starts to rise. It gets the plane further away from that dangerous ground – you know, the ground the pilot doesn’t want to hit.
Push down and the plane starts to descend. It drives the plane closer and closer to that dangerous ground. Actually going in the direction the pilot wants to avoid.
But the right choice? It’s push down.
That’s right. In order to avoid a stall, the pilot actually has to direct the plane towards the danger – the ground. By doing so, it increases the airspeed and causes more air across the wings. It generates more lift and keeps it in the air.
But sometimes pilot chooses wrong. Either out of not knowing or out of instinct. And how can you blame them?
You don’t want to crash, so your instinct takes over. “Avoid the ground!” So, you pull up. But pulling up causes the plane to slow down even more. And that reduced air speed actually makes the plane less likely to stay in the air.
Some major plane accidents have happened because the pilot went with their gut and pulled up – trying to avoid the danger – instead of pushing down into the danger.
Business is the same way.
We all stall sometimes. We’re just not going fast enough for the cash flow to keep up aloft.
And we also have to make a choice. Pull up. Push down.
Except in our case, “pull up” means pull back. Avoid hitting the ground. Avoid the danger.
What are some of the things we do to avoid hitting the ground?
- We lower our price.
- We broaden our target market.
- We stop spending on marketing and advertising.
- We lay off staff who help drive revenue.
All of these things seem “safe.” They seem like they’ll help us from hitting the ground. And while cost cutting and being smart is important when cash flow is tight, often times these things just make us lose airspeed. They make the stall worse.
In the end, they don’t keep us safe. They accelerate the inevitable.
So what about “push down?” What are some ways we can do that?
- Improve our offer so we can increase our price.
- Narrow our target market so we can connect emotionally with our buyer.
- Redirect funds into advertising – intelligently – so we don’t stop a flow of new customers.
- Incentivize your staff to drive revenue so they stick around and bring in more customers.
These actions seem risky when you’re short on cash. They feel like directing the plane into the ground when the ground is the thing you want to avoid most.
But they actually speed up your business. They increase your speed – which in business is cash flow. And cash flow keeps you afloat – off the ground and out of the trees.
Almost every time I talk to a business owner who is struggling to stay “in the air” as it were, it’s almost always a bold action that saves them.
Raise your price. Invest in ads. Hire a salesperson. Start saying “no.”
What bold action are you going to take today? Leave us a note in the comments and let us know.