Can of worms

In a reply to my last post, someone suggested that I was opening a can of worms. Sometimes I think our whole way of doing business is a can of worms.

Think about it. You continually spend more money than you earn. And in order to make up the shortfall, you continually borrow more money. How long could your business sustain this kind of economic policy?

For as long as I can remember, we have worked to stay one step ahead. We have asked suppliers to hold checks in order to make payroll. We have cut deals with utility companies to postpone payments in order to have enough money in the bank to pay for the hardware needed to complete the job at hand. On more than one occasion, I have stood, arms folded, back to the truck door, refusing to unload cabinets until I have seen the check. "Payment," I remind the client, "is due on delivery. Delivery, as defined in our contract, has been made. The cabinets are here. You want them. I need to get the check before we unload."

We have studiously avoided borrowing. We did have some equipment lease payments but we always kept them small and, even there, we performed a juggling act many times. So we were never really in debt. Many businesses survive on a line of credit. But we always figured that it was better to adopt a pay as you go policy. As a result, we never got so far behind the eight ball that there was no way we could ever see around it again.

As to opening cans of worms, that has never been something I have avoided. In fact, it can be a lot of fun, sometimes.


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