I’ll give you a personal example (something I never really do on this message board). The county I live in is harassing my mountain neighbors because they have non-permitted, non-conventional waste water systems at their mountain homes. Systems that were put in years ago and work fine, but aren’t technically legal. New, permitted systems cost anywhere from $25K to $75K.
Now I’ve installed many legal, permitted septic systems back East. But the county out here requires that installers be licensed. So earlier this year, I took InterNACHI’s free, online septic system course , passed the county exam, and got my license. I did this so that I could legally install a system for one of my friends who wanted it done right.
When I went to order the tank from the casting company, I noticed something. There were no fliers from any installers at the office. They didn’t even have a list of installers. I asked why and was told that new construction has come to complete halt due to the recession and no one is installing new septic systems. In other words, the pie had shrunk and most installers are going out of business. At that point I asked to see the owner. We talked for a while and I took him out to lunch. You can probably see where this is going. The next week we had fliers in his office, information sheets about septic systems on a nice stand at his office (the free info sheets we created also included information about the company’s tanks and why they are the best of course), and brochures in all his trucks. We then sent out letters to all the registered professional engineers in the county. You get the idea.
Anyway, today, despite new construction being all but dead, we are totally backed up (no play on words intended) with some 45 system installation contracts. It will take us the rest of the year to get them all in and will generate nearly 2 million in revenue.
Yesterday, I had my son drive 4 hours to Craig, Colorado and buy another dump truck (our 3rd just for the septic business). This is the truck dealership that had the truck for sale yesterday: http://byrneequipmentsales.com Here is a pic from their site showing the truck for sale yesterday: http://byrneequipmentsales.com/images/ford%20l800dump%20001.jpg Below is a pic of my son that I took when he brought it home last night. It was a total steal at $11,700 and we got it so cheap because of the recession (which hit the construction industry hard of course). We have another excavator being delivered from Texas and we already have a year’s worth of work for it lined up.
In some cases, heavy equipment is being sold for the price of scrap metal!!!
Now again, as you know. I normally don’t post all this personal stuff on the message board, but my point is very clear. This recession, and maybe it’s going to be a double dip recession, and maybe it’s even going to be a world-wide recession… is FULL of opportunity. Opportunity for septic installers, opportunity for pizza shop owners, opportunity for inspectors, opportunity for everyone who keeps their spirits up, their eyes open and their finger on the trigger… ready to pull in a second’s notice.
Unfortunately for InterNACHI’s revenue, these economic times are creating market consolidation for the inspection industry. That means fewer inspectors (fewer pieces of the pie), but bigger pieces of the pie. I want you to have a big fat piece of pie. But like Jim buying all those books during a weak time in the inspection industry… and like the letters we sent to the RPEs during a weak time in the construction industry… it’s all about marketing. You and your marketing (not the economy) are the decisive factors.