Apr 11, 2009

This is a screen grab from a live camera in downtown Hooterville, looking northeast. (click to enlarge) We're having unusual Spring storm today. Maybe it is more correct to just say "a storm", since any storm in Hooterville in April is unusual. Our usual weather on April 11th is 80 degrees, with a very low chance of precipitation. In fact, April is our third driest month, averaging just 1/3 of an inch of rain. It has rained off and on all day and the high was in the fifties. Kind of a nice change. In the hardware business, cool, wet Spring weather is not good. Spring is the time when people get their evaporative coolers ready for the brutal summer. So long as it remains cool, people will put off their cooler purchases and the bosses will be nervous. Here's a quick story from the files of people making foolish mistakes. A fellow that I know has run a maintenance business for sometime. He has done okay. He basically is in the business of contracting with other businesses to fix what breaks at their business. And he mixes in repair work for homeowners. Last fall this same guy came into the store and told me that he had hit a bonanza by doing fix up work on foreclosures. Many foreclosed-upon homeowners trash the house on the way out and the banks need people to repair them. He was very excited about his future prospects. This morning he came in and told me a different story, a tale of woe. His business is off by two-thirds from its peak and he is scrapping to get by. He counted too much on work from the banks, which has dried up. That would have been problem enough, but he went deeply into debt to buy a couple of work trucks, tools and new office furnishing to support his formerly growing business. Now he has a bunch of payments on equipment that he can neither use nor sell. That's a trap that many small business owners fall into. They build their business for the best case scenario, rather than the worst. For that matter, I guess most Americans fall into that trap in their personal lives. How many folks do you know that could make the payments so long as everything went right? Anyway, I feel for the guy. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

7 comments:

Megan said...

It's a constant struggle to get the banks to pay for any repairs at all. Especially since they're already out hundreds of thousands on the loan.

We usually try to bully the agents into paying for stuff. They are still making their three percent, b'gosh. Nobody messes with the N.A.R.!

Okay, gotta go before I start really rambling...

R.L. Bourges said...

'payments so long as everything goes right' - I bet that's the way most people live when they have a steady source of income.

I feel for the guy too. Done-deals turning into financial disasters is a well-known story around here.

As for banks, like Megan said, gotta go before I start yammering too.

Enjoy the rain. ( I had no idea Hooterville was such a large town.)

Steve said...

Interesting. Wonder why the bank biz dried up? Did the banks just stop repairing foreclosed homes, or are foreclosures dropping?

Nice to see those rain clouds! I guess if people put off working on their evaporative coolers in April, they'll still have to do it in May. So your revenue will be delayed, but not diminished.

Barbara said...

Things are closing right and left around here. We tried to use a "restaurant credit" of $100 for a bad meal only to find out the place closed just 2 days ago! Probably a good thing we didn't eat there in the final days of business.

As for the guy with the trucks he can't afford, this isn't a time to be speculating on much of anything. But then I suppose he's already figured that out by now.

Kurt said...

No that Time magazine has declared the financial crisis over, he should be fine.

Reya Mellicker said...

Rain in Hooterville? Wow.

I feel for the guy, too. All energy around foreclosures is bad feng shui. Hope he figures out something else to do soon!

Bella Rum said...

My husband is one of those best case scenario guys when it comes to estimating what time he will arrive at his destination. He thinks the traffic will always be great, the tunnel will never be backed up, there will never be any accidents, etc.