Grist Columnist: Boom Times!

says-bul245cover     April fool! I sort of remember boom times, but it’s been a good long while. If you’re under age 35 or 40 or you’ve been in business for just the last couple of decades, you really don’t know what boom times are. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing—what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I hope for all our sakes boom times will return. Boom times are fun!

In the past hundred years there have been two really booming stretches, in the 50s & 60s after WW II (that was before my time) and in the 80s & 90s after Ronald Reagan turned the economy around. I was smack in the middle of that one.

Here’s what it’s like: Success is rewarded with celebration (instead of being told: you didn’t build that). It’s hard to find employees because everybody’s working (instead of 90 million able bodies out of the work force, and shipping more in all the time). People buy stuff left and right (instead of scouring Craig’s List for every little thing). Working capital is easy (sometimes too easy) to get.

And.. And… And… Well, actually, it wasn’t all the land of milk & honey. It wasn’t all one big boom. The economy always cycles up and down, but each time there was a downturn, you gave it a few months and things would pop back up even better. And you could still shoot yourself in the foot & end up bankrupt. Or get obsoleted by tech advances like the telex got replaced by email got replaced by texting…

But there was a lot of excitement all the time, people jockeying for better jobs, better benefits, buying, selling, importing, exporting, chasing the next big thing. Prove me wrong but that ain’t happening nearly as much these days.

If you’re in small business, and you’re not voting, then the April Fool’s joke is on you. We can have boom times again, but we better get on the stick and put some people in place who will clear the way for all you young folks to have more boom, less bust; less Foolin’ and more Fun!

Boom or not, thanks for your business!

John F. Rebrovick

SouthStar’s new Bulletin #245 is now available. If you are a current customer or a recent addition to our mailing list, it should be showing up in a mailbox near you soon. If not, you can request a copy by writing us or click here to download a copy. Thank you!


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