At Sea in Stormy Times

Cargo Ship Hits a Big Wave

By the time a storm hits, it’s already too late to switch off the engine or throw out the anchor.

If you have a solid business with few or no liabilities, money in the bank, contingency plans in place and pockets that are deep enough to ride out any storm then you are likely to be in the minority.

If you are also able to forecast the economic weather, then you may feel that now is the time to simply batten down the hatches and keep your ship in port. 

It would seem the safest thing to do.

You may be all right should the storm not last too long but the strategy may not result in the outcome you expect should it prove to be cataclysmic.

The impact of current events could be so severe they cause seismic changes in the landscape and the fishing grounds you normally frequent.

Rather than finding yourself still in one piece, ready to sally forth when the storm has blown over, you risk finding that channels have silted up, the coast line has shifted, and your ship is now miles from the sea.

Should you find yourself already at sea when the storm has unexpectedly hit then your options will differ.

If you have a fast, solid, buoyant vessel you might opt to out run the storm, head back to port and join those already there who opted not to venture out. 

Many successful businesses that have grown from the previous recession run a fairly tight ship. 

They have invested heavily in their future growth, survived on tight margins and been less able to squirrel funds away for those occasional stormy days.

They don’t have the option of heading back to port if at sea when the storm has already hit.

Their only option is to face the oncoming waves head on and power through them hoping not to be engulfed. They do risk hitting the bottom of the trough and nose diving into the deep but if the ship is sea worthy it will continue to float.

Steering a course that allows you to ride the crest of the oncoming waves without breaking your bow on the other side requires skill, nerves of steel and confidence in your ship and your crew.

Those still at sea riding the storm will ultimately be better placed to take advantage of the potential bounty that surrounds them when the storm has passed than those who opted to stay in port and find their traditional fishing grounds have disappeared.

All business is risk. Staying in port doing nothing is no less risky than the exhilaration of riding the storm. 

It just feels safer.

About the Author

I'm Sam Finlay, the founder of moreVisible and I originally trained as an Industrial Designer back in the early 80s. My career developed from technical illustration and visualising within the manufacturing sector, to design consultancy servicing high street retailers and brands, visualising future products, explaining how these would look or function for B2B presentations. Before moving my creative skills into online video & animation production for the digital economy in 2008.