The water heater at my house blew up yesterday, and it made me think of you.
My wife and I live in a smallish house with two cats and my ancient dog Malcolm. Because the house is on the small side, the gas-fired hot water heater is located in a metal enclosure outside the house. It looks like a giant gym locker that’s 7 feet tall and 3 feet wide.
It’s been raining a lot here lately. When that happens, water can accumulate in the bottom of this enclosure, and if there’s enough water there it can extinguish the flame in the hot water heater.
Yesterday my wife was taking a shower and heard this very loud bang outside the house.
I went outside to investigate and smelled a strong burning smell, but nothing was on fire.
I’m speculating here, but here’s what I think happened:
- Water accumulation in metal enclosure extinguished flame of hot water heater
- For some reason, gas safety shutoff didn’t kick in right away, allowing gas to accumulate inside the enclosure
- Some other part of the hot water heater was hot enough to ignite the accumulated gas, causing a small, loud, but ultimately non-destructive explosion
This makes me wonder if you have a “safety valve” in your business to protect you from “explosions” like clients firing you, low lead flow, projects going south, etc.
There are lots of potential safety valves, but I favor the following:
- Multiple forms of revenue. Not a bunch of projects going in parallel, but multiple different but related ways of making money.
- Sufficient profitability to allow you to weather unavoidable dry spells.
- An excess of inbound leads so if you suddenly have availability you can temporarily become less selective in order to restore cash flow quickly.
- A blend of fast-acting and slow-acting lead generation techniques at your disposal so that you can shift your focus to fast-acting ones when you see a slow period coming up in a few months.
You know what I’m about to say next. You’re mouthing the words silently even as you read this…
All these “safety valves” are easier to build for your business if you have a clearly defined, strong market position. I’d love to help you with that: http://thepositioningmanual.com