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Earlier this year I received an economic update email from a major bank. The gist of the article was:

The majority of business owners feel their local economies have worsened and the national economy is heading the wrong direction. But, an overwhelming majority feel their business is strong and they are confident about its future.

This is similar to:

  • Politicians are lousy sleaze balls but my congressperson or senator is pretty good.
  • I don’t think much of insurance agents but I have a great agent.
  • Lawyers aren’t generally ethical so I’m glad I have a super attorney.

We like what we have and don’t think much of what many others have. Where do I see the most optimism? It’s with business owners who want to sell their company. Had one good year out of the last three or four? Well, pay me based on the one good year.

Timing is everything. In my 20 years in the buy-sell world I’ve never seen so many construction related businesses for sale as I’m seeing now. In 2006 all the predictions in the Seattle area were for at least five very solid years for commercial construction. Oops, that lasted about two years and the cranes started disappearing like old trees in a windstorm.

I sense a lot of owners are, remembering 2006-2008 and also looking at industry stats showing a strong couple years and then a big drop-off. So they want to sell now at either a high price or wanting a share of the next couple strong years. Timing is everything.

Buyer beware, especially if you don’t know if it’s a spike or a trend.

It’s good to have optimism. It’s better to have knowledge and common sense. Others don’t always see what we have as being as good as how we think it is.

“We have to change truth a little in order to remember it.” George Santayana

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