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Contractor Tip of the Month

We must play with the cards we are dealt

As I write this article, it is Election Day in the U.S.A! Stuck on Chicago’s O’Hare Airport runway, I am pondering the outcome of the election tonight. All elections are important, but this one seems to be more so. I feel like I spent the first 25 years of my working career trying to figure out how to get into business, and I have spent the last few years trying to stay in business and, at least, keep the shirt on my back.

Now, it could get even worse if the pro-business candidate doesn’t win, and they raise taxes. Anyone investing in the stock market knows that you don’t take a chance investing $100 in a company to see if that company can make its business model work, when, if it does, you get to save $60 or $80 of the profit. Risking our money in a construction business (when the average construction company only earns 1 percent to 5 percent net profit) to keep 60 percent of those earnings is no different. All who know me know how positive minded I am, but there is just no way I can find a positive note in this one. We have to be idiots to do it!

I am sure I will get some slack from my critics for writing how I truly feel in this article, but I believe it is a scary time for our country right now. We have one guy running for President who has been Santa Claus with tax payer money. Those that have gotten the free stuff tend to like ole Santa, so it is obvious how they will vote. To borrow a line from Ohio Gov. John Kasich, “When you get more people riding in the wagon than you have pulling the wagon, the country has major problems.”

I chose to go through the often-delayed, heavily congested O’Hare to get home, so I could watch the election unfold alongside my state’s local congressman, state representative, and a couple hopeful county commissioners. Seeing in person the reaction the candidates will have to their win or loss will be worth the travel efforts.
I can’t imagine all of my choice candidates winning tonight, so, like all business owners, I will be dealt a hand with the election results. It is up to my companies and me as to how we play our cards based on that outcome. If the pro-business candidates win, we will plan for expansion in areas we see opportunity. If the opposite occurs, then we ride out the storm by only investing in sure bets, or none at all.

Regardless of the outcome of the election, one thing is for sure: We will all have to deal with the leaders who are chosen and move on. Once we find out what the politicians are going to do regarding policies, regulations and taxes, we must adjust our business model accordingly. Will the Congress let the tax cuts expire? Will Obamacare be re-vamped? Will there be more money in the near future to build infrastructure like more schools, public works buildings, etc., that may end up creating more work for the construction market? I doubt it, but there’s just too much unknown at this point. In the meantime, we all still have decisions to make, and our decisions shape the futures of our companies.

As I write, I am still trying to get home from Chicago O’Hare. One thing is for sure: As I told my office staff, I will be late for work tomorrow, due to celebrating the victory (hopefully by the candidate I am pulling for) for President of the United States. And, if he does not win, I will still be in late as the results will most likely leave me feeling sick. I hope you all voted today for a better tomorrow.


Provided by Damian Lang, President of Lang Masonry Contractors, Inc., and EZ Grout Corp.