Recently the price of gas has shot through the roof rising over 10% in less than 10 days. This kind of sharp rise occurred back in 2008 when gas went from the average of 2.75 a gallon up to over $4.00 a gallon in 45 days. These sharp rises on a resource which all of us have become dependent upon can tend to create a little stress. Fact is, there are distinct advantages to this for our business if we recognize them.
When prices rise up sharply like this, the natural reaction is to cut back on driving. That is a natural reaction. Back in 2008 when this occurred, that was my first, knee-jerk reaction. In fact, I immediately saw a sharp hit to my business. When I sucked it up and started driving out as I would have normally (had the price of gas not gone up) I found something interesting; I closed more sales. I attributed this to two things: 1. My competition was not going out. 2. Most people were not going out, so my customers were not getting hit on to buy something every five minutes and had less “static noise” so the decision to buy from a source that made sense, well, made sense.
Let’s look at the math. If gas goes up by $1.00 a gallon (which is predicted by May, sorry, not my idea, that is just what energy experts are suggesting) and you spend the average amount of money that most people spend which is approximately $50 a week in gas, then you will add around $12-$15 to that $50 each week. This total could add an additional $60 per month in spending. My question to you; how many weddings extra would you need to sell to pay for the increase in gas for the next year (by the way, back in 2008 the price of gas went back down below $2 a gallon and actually stayed low enough for long enough to make up for the sharp rise over the year).
If your competition is not going to meet with brides and you are, they are going to add a fuel surcharge and you don’t, if they will choose to not attend the next networking meeting (meetings back then were cut in half because of this ridiculous thinking), again, will you be able to capitalize on that extra edge?
Every business has variables and also has to take a hit from time to time. I will challenge you to look at events like the rising price of gas as an opportunity rather than a hindrance. Fact is, the price of gas is going to continue to rise. It has since I have been alive and my bet is that it will continue long after I am gone. Once you wrap your head around this fact, you can begin to solve the problem, which again isn’t a problem in my view.
In running your business, you need to focus on what you can control, accept and deal with what you cannot control and move ahead based upon those two ideas. You have an infinite amount of resources available to you and your business. Look at it this way; if you had to find ways to get more business which had to be done under limited resources (pretend for a minute that your kids lives depended upon it) you would amaze yourself at what you could do. The philosopher Homer once said (one of my favorite quotes), “Adversity has a way of eliciting talents which in more prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant.”
For the record, a much better economic indicator that is opposite of what is happening with gas, the housing market is showing a robust economy and shows to have somewhat of a comeback starting this year. Know that things aren’t as bad as the nightly news would try to convince you.