Earlier this year, before summer started I wrote a blog post about how the slower beginning to year was leaving us hopeful for a stronger summer to come. Well, now that summer is officially over and the verdict is in. Summer wasn't so bad, but we had to work harder and be more creative than in years before.
The last few months have been busy for my father and I but we have learned that it is all relative when it comes to our business. The outside work that had kept us alive for years i.e. new construction furnace installations and air conditioning add-on's and installs, have given way to more fabrication and searching for work that might be out of our niche. Because there are only two of us and the amount of fabrication work has increased, we feel busier than most of the other micro businesses in town working in our field. However, the money that is coming in is a bit lighter, is still paying the bills and keeping us functioning as a micro business but the stresses from month to month have increased.
We have had to do more searching and generating more business in different ways than we ever had before. For instance, we need to install gas piping when installing a new or retro-fit gas furnace, but we would not necessarily seek out a specific gas piping job. This year is different and we have taken some of those smaller type jobs to make up for the lack of new furnace and air conditioning installations. All of this has meant more focus on keeping costs in check and making sure that the jobs we take are worth our time and money. When business was booming we never had to worry about cash flows and if another job would be coming down the pike. The work was always there and we became more and more ignorant about running the business the right way.
Since the recession has started and looks to be here again, I have said and will continue to say that I have learned more about business in the last two or three years than in the first ten years of business. Never take for granted the good times because the rough times are always around the corner waiting to rear their ugly head. We as a micro business especially did not pay attention and we payed the price. Luckily, we are still around to learn from our mistakes and the ups and downs of the year are lessons to help us run a better business for ourselves and for our customers.
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