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Catastrophe at cfidarren.com

by Darren Smith, CFII/MEI
from CFIDarren Newsletter, September 16, 2010 
Navigation:  Bio | Schedule | About this website | Pilot Store | Pay for Services | News | Answerman | BeliefsPledge | Policy | Articles | Links | OnlineBFR/IPC | Guestbook | Success Stories | Reader Poll 

Here's a funny little story that could have had some serious financial impact (but didn't).  It comes complete with pictures and should make you pause for just a moment to think of the hurdles that small business faces.  It starts like this...

Some of the readers of cfidarren.com know that I have been building a TV studio for a new website to be launched in 2011 called aviaTV.com. Well now you know it as well.

The purpose of the new website is to provide free aviation videos, tutorials, and ground schools.  Yes Free.

Well something happened in the limited space of this studio.  Somehow... in the night... the shelving for all of the products I sell tipped over.  The shelves contained all the product that is sold in the pilot store.  There's Visi-Holds all over the place, Visi-Plotters scattered everywhere, and stockpiles of every book in the store strewn.  There happened to be something unexpected on the shelves that day.  Something put there by accident that makes this story possible.

On the shelf was a can of special green screen paint (see photo on the left).  Notice that the can is slightly deformed as it obviously hit the floor with a violence that could disturb any quiet night.  Some of you may know what a green screen is from your local TV weatherman.  This paint was used to create a greenscreen wall in the aviaTV.com studios.

Anyway, this special green paint went everywhere.  It even coated some of the product I sell on my website.  The photo to the right shows the green paint in my carpet that will NEVER come out.  The photo doesn't adequately portray the horror that this 10 foot long stain in the carpet is.

While I was able to salvage 99% of my product by inspecting & repackaging, I was not able to salvage a few hundred pieces of the "Pilot's Rules of Thumb" checklist. 

This product's packaging was custom printed and I only had enough product for the exact number of checklists made.

Lessons Learned
  • Don't store hardware store items with the products of your small business
  • Don't buy plastic shelving from walleymart or home depot.  Buy shelves that are way more sturdy than needed.

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