Business is getting better. The fabrication shop has been very busy for the majority of the year. Yes, some of the production can be attributed to our new CNC plasma table, but not all. The business environment seems to be on the steady.
Where does my optimism come from?
Lack of salesman.
When the economy was tanking I noticed a big increase in the number of salespeople darkening my doorstep. Men and women from sheet metal, HVAC, you name it companies were lurking around on what seemed like a daily basis. Many of the companies I had never heard of because they were based outside our region.
So why would they be talking up the likes of me?
They were making the trip and extra effort because they needed new business in a big way. Any business would suffice, even the likes of our tiny company, which probably ordered a tenth of what their major customers were buying. They needed cash.
Fast forward to today and none of those people have come within 10 miles of our tiny little shop to hock their wares. Their business is doing fine (or maybe imploded :/) so tiny orders like ours are not worth their breath or gas miles. All my new best friends have suddenly disappeared.
One thing I have learned about our business since the economic crisis. Watching the flow of salespeople through the door can be a forward look at what may be to come. A canary in the coal mine if you will.
There are the regulars and the normal flows of new blood, but an abnormal increase can spell a slowing in business. The workload trickles down. If those bigger companies above us aren't doing well, then our drought will not be far behind.