The High Cost of Lost Opportunity

The High Cost of Lost Opportunity...
Another Spring is a Terribly Costly Thing to Waste

by Sid Raisch

We’re all busy. I’ll get straight to the point.  

What’s different this year? What isn’t different but could be or should be, and what impact would that have? Do you even know? Read on.

Will this year be another 2022, yet another spring of about the same as the year before, if we’re lucky?

Most garden centers had a pretty flat year overall, but profits dipped significantly, because they didn’t take advantage of the opportunities to have another great year as some others did. Being above average was no lucky break because as you know, luck is when preparation meets opportunity.

Will it be a spring (and therefore another year) of foregoing another BIG ONE that could have happened? Will it be another year of lost opportunity to move forward better, progressively building a stronger foundation upon which the next spring and every one thereafter could be building upon.

We’ve heard of the “Time-Value of Money

Money received today has far greater value than the same amount received a year from now. The opportunity cost of receiving money today has multiplied effect in the future. Conversely, the opportunity cost of not receiving money today has a far greater negative effect into the future. We would never know this because it isn’t measured. It never shows up on the WDR, the P&L Study, or your Balance Sheet. Lost financial opportunity is a “0”, as in “Zer0”.

Now hear about the “Time Value of Time"

The smartest use of the time we have today is to do something that we will benefit from forever after by never having to do it again. (Never is a long time of course and many things we do today will be superseded in the future, but you get the point.) Time used wisely now can have greater value than the same amount of time a year later. Time invested now creates more time later, which can then be invested to create more time after that. An example of this is to create a template that can be used time and again into the future. A better example of this is to eliminate an unnecessary step or process completely.

The time-value of money or time never works in arrears.

We have the opportunity to use time and money captured now to rise to a new level of personal and financial effectiveness that will be built upon each year of our future to reach higher levels every year after. Unfortunately though, we can never go back into the past to retrieve the value of money or time that was wasted.

Let me say that again but differently. Every dollar of increase received this spring starts as a dollar received next year and every year thereafter. Every minute of time invested this year to eliminate time required to do the same thing into the future creates available time each following year. Neither the time or money left behind can ever be retrieved.

Here’s are two good questions:  
1.    If we’re worried about wasting the dollar, why don’t we worry about wasting the opportunity to make more money.
2.    If we’re worried about wasting time, why don’t we worry about wasting the opportunity to eliminate wasted time in the future? What is that time worth?

We have only one chance to earn more this year, or to invest this years time wisely. Every dollar missed compounds in the form of the cost of lost opportunity.

Spending our opportunity dollars and minutes (how much it grows or builds) -  it’s now or never. We can never go back to our 21st or 40th  birthday and spend that time or money we had then again.

We never measure the lost opportunities, only the gains. It would be too costly on our psyche to do so.

Here is a number exercise to illustrate the financial cost of lost opportunity over time.

1.    If we sit out on earning another dollar we could have earned this year:
2023 – Year of missed opportunity to earn more. $0.00 to spend
2024 - $1.00 to spend
2025 - $ 1.00 + $1.00 = $2.00 to spend
2026 - $1.00 + $1.00 + $1.00 = $3.00 to spend.
Total dollars to spend = $6.00.

2.    If we take advantage of the present opportunity to earn an additional dollar this year:
2023 - $1.00 to spend
2024 – $1.00 + $1.00 = $2.00 to spend.
2025 - $1.00 + $1.00 + $1.00 = $3.00 to spend
2026 - $1.00 + $1.00 + $1.00 + $1.00 = $4.00 to spend
Total dollars to spend = $10.00. One dollar of greater earning this year (2023) becomes ten dollars to spend over the same amount of time.

The effort expended to earn one additional dollar this year earns a 40% increase of dollars over just four years with no additional effort. Of course you would probably put out some additional effort and invest some of the increase to earn even more in future years, and so the earnings effect compounds even faster.

How can we earn an additional dollar for our efforts this year? That depends on the unique situation and opportunities available. Keep in mind that the average garden center had a very small revenue increase in 2022, and half of them had no increase. The above average garden centers did have an increase. The field is narrow, gathered around the average. However, the few exceptional garden centers had large increases in revenue and profit. They took advantage of their unique situation and beat the averages. Their accountants didn’t give them exceptional results. The weather didn’t give them exceptional results. What did they do? It was specific to them, and so will better results be available based on specific actions to others. Exceptional results are often more doable than not, for everyone, especially if they’re capturing the time value of money and time. 

Here’s an important question to think about: Will those unique opportunities be deferred, possibly lost, or gained this year?

3.    Investing a dollar this year to improve to earn just three dollars this year and the effect looks like this:

2023 - $1.00 invested, earns $3.00, allowing a net $2.00 to spend
2024 – $3.00 + $1.00 = $4.00 to spend.
2025 - $3.00 + $1.00 + $1.00 = $5.00 to spend
2026 - $3.00 + $1.00 + $1.00 + $1.00 = $6.00 to spend
Total additional dollars to spend = $17.00.

Two dollars of greater earning this year (2023) becomes seventeen dollars to spend over the same amount of time. Compare missing the opportunity this year to earn $17.00, or sit it out again for only $6.00, if we did happen to somehow earn an additional $1.00 starting next year.

Of course we might invest some of the additional earned dollars earned along the way to boost our earnings even further.

Here’s the money question:

Presuming that we’ve already done whatever we decided to do, not not doing whatever we decided to do later or never, what opportunities are we willing to leave behind and never get back?

Use this information any way you like to invest in future earnings. This perspective is something I share to everyone for free. The specifics of how any company can earn money and time is unique to them.

An admittedly self-serving message:

Do we know what to invest the $1.00 in this year to earn the net $3.00 more? This is where the investment in consulting for increased net earning comes in.  This investment strategy pays off very well. Of course it really works only in spring which is the only time a garden center can actually make any real money. The best, and only time to make more money is when you are actually making money. Otherwise, it is still a wise investment for next year. Is the delay and waste of another spring an opportunity cost that you really can’t afford to waste from your future? 

Capture your unique opportunities before they’re lost forever. It’s time now to plan a session to explore INVESTING to earn more in 2023, and to build your future earnings at an exponential rate over time. Send a text to connect while you’re thinking about it and I’ll get in touch to set it up. 937-302-0423.

Before procrastination or other busyness steals another year from you Text or Call 937-302-0423 or send an email to [email protected] .

Sid Raisch is an advocate for family business leading growth, change, and results throughout US horticulture. Redefining the business future for consumer horticulture by understanding how the end-to-end supply chain needs to be redirected is a skill Sid has honed into an art. He has understanding and insight through inquisitive observations and extensive experience and has served as a trusted advisor helping transform both national and local businesses into more profitable and sustainable businesses. Developing national and international educational programs that create change in culture, community and company provides Sid venues with a front row seat creating effective and innovative business models.

Sid is a Certified Value Builder System Advisor, and currently serves as Chief Strategist and the Swiss Army Knife of Consultants to The Garden Center Group clients. Contact Sid at [email protected] or call or text  937-302-0423.

REMEMBER: Your interaction (by phone and email) with Group Service Providers such as Sid Raisch, Tim Quebedeaux, Jean Seawright, John Kennedy, and of course Danny Summers are included in your retainer!

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