Road Trip: Mission Accomplished.
I’d hoped to land one engineering and consulting contract on this week’s road trip, and ended up with two. Not only that, but I’ve also developed the inside track to getting several others after the calendar turns in January. Unfortunately, I had to tell my marketing guy to pass on some other near-term opportunities that, in different times, we would have gone all-in on. Business is good, but it could be a lot better. The two contracts I signed this week will keep my division busy through the end of March, 2011 and the additional contracts would keep us busy through next year and beyond. But we can’t expand and go after more work tomorrow than we’re doing today.
The climate is just too uncertain. We did hire two new people over the summer—one was a replacement; the other was a new hire. It was the first new professional hire in over a year at my firm.
We have the potential to go after a lot more work than we’re carrying now, but that would mean hiring more new people and we just can’t do that with any confidence right now. The climate is just too uncertain. The company president has some idea how his tax situation will be in January if Congress doesn’t act to extend the Bush-era tax cuts, but he won’t be sure until the extension is passed or defeated. We also have a very uncertain picture regarding the entire company’s healthcare insurance plan. We’ve gotten some scenarios from our insurance reps, and absolutely none of them are good. Some are just less bad than others.
If I expand my division and add new employees, I’d have to be confident that my clients are expanding too, or that they are about to increase their demand for the engineering, consulting and planning services we provide. If I had that confidence, I could deal with the uncertainty by knowing that we’ll remain viable and profitable despite the current regime’s attitude. If I knew my customers were buying, I would, too. But I just don’t get that vibe from them. And believe me, I’m good at getting the right vibe from the client. We didn’t get where we are by not being in tune with the people who pay us so handsomely.
On the drive home today, it occurred to me that it is getting increasingly more difficult to do business in America. Dammit, the business of America IS BUSINESS. We build things. We make things. We invent things and we sell things like no other civilization on the planet has ever done.
Why should we suffer idiots in Washington who are hell bent on making it more difficult to do business in this country? Why should we suffer them in the State House? City Hall?
Is it “extreme” to expect a candidate for election to make it easier to do business in this country?