The Cost of Opportunity

If there is one common denominator I hear amongst customers it’s this: I believe almost everyone longs for a simpler, less chaotic business, but then turns around and makes choices that prevent them from achieving it. In many ways it’s just the nature of the beast. Contractors are opportunists, and retailers want to make the sale. So when a potential customer asks a contractor to do something unusual, or (gulp) outside their skill level, they are often greeted with an eager “yes we can” when a “sorry we don’t do it that way because…” would be the correct response. And, if you’re like virtually every other contractor I’ve met you agree with that but then…well you do it anyway. Why? Because you’ve got bills to pay, and employees to keep busy. So you take that job you shouldn’t, or you do a project outside your comfort zone, and the cost of that “opportunity” costs you more than it’s worth…again, and again, and again. Retailers aren’t much different. When a customer comes into a store asking for a product they are looking for, and leaves when it’s not there, an eager retailer will soon have it on their shelves. Without incredible discipline by that retailer over time, in trying to capture those potential sales, their store looks like a Turkish bazaar.

The problem is opportunity cost. A contractor, who operates opportunistic, versus strategically, never gets ahead. And a retailer who has only so many dollars for inventory, can’t afford to stock product for every customer’s whim. Capice? It’s one thing to say the “The best job is the one you walk away from” and an entirely different thing to actively do it!

At times, I myself am guilty of over complicating things. But I’ve been bit in the butt enough, and seen enough others bit as well, to know this topic was blog worthy. Do you agree? I want this point to sink in this week, so think about it with your business. Is your business more complicated than it should be, and what do you do to make it that way? Next week I will address ways we have K.I.S.S. proofed our business.  My goal, as always, is to inspire you to get better.


Carpe Diem,

The Pond Guy