I cannot think of anything more dreadful than going shopping on Black Friday. I am entirely fine with those people who enjoy it. I know for some families it is a day to shop with a sister or a good friend, and I can see where that would be fun for somebody. But not me. I hate shopping, and Black Friday just seems like something I dislike magnified by ten. So…I guess I could start Christmas decorating. Except I am the tree guy and the outside lights guy. And about seven inches fell last night in a “lake effect event”, so putting up lights sounds like a bad idea. Tomorrow will be 44 degrees and sunny so maybe I can put that off a day. The tree? Ah, that’s pretty easy, I’ll get to that later. So, that leaves me here at the computer with my coffee and this site. Geez, I might as well go to work.
Friday’s off are no picnic. My son has to go to work (low man on the totem pole), my wife has her Friday things to do and my other family members are doing whatever. It is not like I’m going to crack open a beer, watch Netflix and chill while everyone else around me busy doing this or that. So, here I am, thinking about fasteners.
Here’s one observation for you: there are only three more works weeks left in 2014. Sure, we can sneak in a couple days during Christmas and New Year’s week, but there are only three full work weeks left. All those trips you planned to make or projects you wanted to complete, you essentially have three weeks to finish. And they don’t necessarily have to be done by the end of December. You could start them and finish them in January. But if you had things you wanted to accomplish by the end of 2104, the countdown has begun. I have a perpetually changing list of things “to-do” and the sad realization has set in that I cannot possibly get all the things done that I wanted. So, my scheduling is starting to snake in to 2015.
Do you all send Christmas cards? I read a lot of them when I am waiting in lobbies. They are a nice gesture, for certain but I also wonder if anyone gets offended if they do not get a card from a particular supplier. “I did $20,000 with that guy, you think he’d at least send a card”. I once had a customer ask me to send the yearly Christmas card to his attention because he and another buyer had a contest to see which one got more cards. It can be a competitive thing.
Before I get some email or call from somebody saying, “I thought this blog was about fasteners” I will point out that I’m writing on what is technically a day off. Technically. I will be going to the office to pick up my mail and to gather up a few things I need for Monday. And, I need to pick up some things I need to schedule next week. But just so I do not upset those of you who prefer I talk about fasteners, here you go.
There were not a lot of mergers and acquisitions in our industry this year. At least not like what went on in 2013. I bet you an Old Rusty Bolt that next year is different. I think next year we will see more activity. I have spoken with many business owners and sometimes, just for the heck of it, I’ll ask, “do you get calls from people looking to buy your company”? The most common answer I get is, “every week”. There are a lot of buyers out there right now. Oddly enough, I could easily think of five to ten companies that could or should sell their companies. Owner getting older with no succession plan, companies losing their ability to compete, etc. I think next year will be much more active than this year has been.
Time to log off and take a look at what the next three weeks have in store. No Black Friday dashing to stores (thank the Lord my kids are older and I do not have to worry about the newest popular toy) for me, I’ll be trying to dash around the fastener industry. And hoping that the snow does not completely screw up my travel plans. But as I do it, at least I know I have the support of my family…