Halloween horror stories!

Published: 31/10/2021

It’s coming to that time of year again. The days are getting colder, and as the clocks have gone back... that can only mean one thing… Halloween is here! We will look at our picks of annual business horror stories that will make you quiver with fear wwwhaaaaaaaaaa !!!!

Just remember what you’re about to read cannot be unread, BEWARE !

1. Don't pass up on an amazing opportunity staring at you in the face

Some of the younger ones reading this won't remember Kodak, but others will have some very fond memories of these old cameras.

Back in 1977, the company managed to secure a patent to start making the first digital cameras. But instead of exploring this opportunity the company rested on their laurels. They were making too much money through traditional film and didn’t foresee this ever changing. So they put the idea of creating digital cameras on the back burner. This was a decision they would regret. 

Because as we all know digital cameras exploded in popularity as traditional film became obsolete. As a result of this they fell behind their competitors, who went digital. 

What is clear here is that you should adapt to what your consumers are engaging in, it shouldn't be the other way round. If you are too late to adapt then you might find that catching up with your competitors might be too tall an order.

2. Be spot on with your figures or it could cost you 

As you will be aware, one of the most important parts of running a business is having a good grasp of your numbers. Failing to do so could lead to disaster, as this example will show.

In 1998 NASA launched their $125 million Mars Orbiter. As you may have guessed, the aim of the expensive machine was to orbit the red planet (the name does kind of give it away). But in September 1999, when it was expected to land, this very expensive piece of technology burned and broke into pieces. 

Why did this happen? The main reason for this was the engineers and NASA used different measurements from each other. The engineers at Lockheed used imperial measurements whilst NASA adopted metric ones. This conflicting information led to the spacecraft malfunctioning and ultimately being lost. 

When you're looking into creating a business plan it’s vital that your numbers are accurate. You might not make a mistake as costly as this but it could give you a few problems that you don’t need. 

3. Motorola late to the tech party 

If you grew up in the 00s you will fondly remember the slogan “hello moto” very well. That’s because Motorola were one of the biggest mobile phone companies in the world during this time.

But technology was changing at a rapid pace as new phones were coming out, such as the Iphone and Android phones, which used smart technology. Motorola took a long time to ‘get on the bandwagon’ with this changing landscape and it took them until much later to release their smartphone. So rather than being seen as innovators they were seen to be latching on to what others were doing. 

Whilst as a business owner you shouldn’t base your actions on what competitors are doing it’s very important to be on top of what is going on in your industry. If you miss something vital the competition might just overtake you.

4. Just because it’s called ‘super’ doesn’t mean the idea is 

How can we forget something that is only a few months old? We are of course talking about the failed attempt by Europe’s biggest football clubs to introduce their own private Super League. 

Back at the end of April a story broke that 6 of England's biggest football clubs, as well the biggest teams from Spain and Italy, intended to set up their own breakaway league. The problem with this was there was no merit to it. The founding members could not be relegated from this league and in turn would be guaranteed to receive enormous amounts of money - destroying the idea that there could be any competition. 

The idea was widely scorned, not just by football pundits like Gary Neville, but also by public figures like Prime Minister Boris Johnson and even Prince Willian weighed in with heavy criticism.

Within a few days all of the English teams pulled out of this initiative and the idea was put on the back burner. 

This situation was a complete PR disaster and the clubs involved were genuinely taken aback at how strong the pushback was against the Superleague.

This fiasco serves as a lesson that if you’re trying to do something radical make sure that you speak to customers first and find out what they think of your idea. After all, they are the ones who you’ll want to win over. Don’t give them something which they will totally reject. 

5. Don’t underestimate the effect of bad customer services

You may well have come across stories of poor customer service, but we think this one may top the lot. 

An incident took place on a Southwest Airline flight in the US. What transpired here was quite amazing. A passenger was told by the pilot that he was too fat to fly.. He was actually kicked off the flight.

If that wasn't enough of an issue the passenger was  a popular film director with a large following on social media. Naturally, the insulted customer went to Twitter and questioned why he had been removed when he was already seated, even if he was happy to acknowledge that he was overweight. 

South West Air apologised for this episode but the damage was already done.

The lesson here is never underestimate the power of your customer (particularly a high profile one) to highlight a terrible experience. If the experience is bad enough, they will tell many many people about it and you will gain a bad reputation.

David Goulden

David Goulden

Copywriter

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