Beyond the Build

Leadership

Look Down Field

I was on a flight recently with the owner of a relatively young California software company. He shared that in the beginning, he pursued every prospect that walked in the door. As his company matured, it became a balancing act between the value and the cost of production. His company, like all successful businesses, learned when to say yes and when to say no.

One example is what I call the “minimum investment quotient” in terms of our time and pursuit. If someone wants to discuss a project valued under some dollar amount, we try to look down the field, long range. While we may think there is not time to pursue an opportunity with a small price tag, there is the chance that we would be making an investment of sorts, starting a relationship that leads to a wonderful business marriage. Other times, the prospect might be an influencer or connector in the marketplace. Even better.

A number of years ago, we did a small remodel project for a customer. Three decades later, our relationship continues to blossom and thrive. The best opportunities come in a variety of packages. With all this said, there are still times we just have to say “no” because the fit isn’t right. It’s all about balance.

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Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and President of the Stewart Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.