November 14, 2017

Knock Knock. Who’s There? Opportunity. Opportunity Who?

By Paul Bieber

OK, you have a couple of good choices here:

  • You can say you are too busy to meet Mr. Opportunity now. Come back next year.
  • Or, maybe you ask him to send an email describing what he wants to sell you. Which you probably won’t open.
  • But then again, there is one really good answer. You invite him in for a cup of coffee and listen to what he is selling.

If you took either of the first two, stop reading now.

If you took the third choice, a good thing for your business might just fall out of the sky on you. Opportunity does knock at strange times, or when you least expect it, and it doesn’t wait very long for an answer. Our industry is currently in good times. No one knows how long these times will last, but I am confident we have two to three very good years ahead of us, at least.

Now is the time to listen to Mr. Opportunity. You probably have a positive cash flow and can’t take on much more work. You are having a tough time finding reliable workers and wages are going up fast because your competition is stalking your A-list employees. But still, Mr. Opportunity only knocks once, and usually not at a good time. How should you handle this? My answer is that you dive in and explore what Mr. Opportunity is presenting to you. Maybe it is an exclusive on a new product line for your area. Maybe a business in the next town over is going to close and you can get the first shot to buy it. Maybe a great employee walks in your door looking for a job because his current place cut out medical insurance.

Whatever the case, jump on it. I know you are busy, but if you buy the place 10 miles away you can share some of the workload. You’ll train those folks to do things your way. You will take their complicated jobs and give them the simple work until you get to know each other better. You will cut costs because of the business combination. And overall, you will prosper while the good times are here. And when they are not, you’ll be ready to stay healthy because you’ve consolidated your costs and will stay in business while others don’t.

So, if that business broker calls, learn all you can. If that manufacturer stops in with his new line, listen. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the outcome. If Mr. Right walks in the door, hire him.

Knock, knock…is anyone there?