Million dollar mistake!

I love click baits. They work. Maybe it is not a million, maybe it is more. And gladly, it is not my million. Decisions in business come daily and there are a lot of “rules” like 20/80 (The Pareto principle) or some other tips on how many decisions must be right in order to survive or importance of each decision. The devious thing about making decisions is that you NEVER know if it is an important one.

Our first business idea we worked on before, during and after we moved to Las Vegas failed. I will write about it in some other post. The second business idea was kind of a straw we were grasping in order to make some money and the business took off, it is the real estate photography business. But before it took off, we were looking for clients everywhere, including working for out of state competition. There are dozens of companies trying to work like a national service providers so they need contractors in every city. Most of them don’t want employees because it is a mess to have one or two employees in every state. Paperwork, taxes, liability, etc. Besides looking for regular clients (Realtors) I did research on companies who were looking for a contractor real estate photographers in Las Vegas.

This is not very valuable photo for anybody living in the US, but my friends from Europe ask me a lot about how are the US homes made. 99% of homes in Las Vegas, including multi-million $ mansions are built exactly like this. Concrete slab, some wooden sticks, a lot of drywall (gypsum board), insulation and paint.

One of them was a successful company in their hometown and they were spreading to more cities and already had some footprint in Las Vegas. Realtors I tried to meet told me about them, so they were known already. I checked their website, they listed my camera and equipment as acceptable so I applied. They reached out and said the camera is not good enough so they didn’t accept us as a subcontractor. That was in 2014.

In 2013 there was almost zero construction in Vegas because of the mortgage and real estate collapse. I saw maybe one house being built when driving around town. Now you see neighborhoods and apartment complexes being built again.

Life went on and after some time we knew they are the biggest competitor for us in Las Vegas, because we heard their name from potential clients the most. By the end of 2018 we surpassed them and became the biggest real estate photography company in Las Vegas in terms of volume. I am sure of it because there is a way how to estimate their volume pretty precisely. With a camera not good enough 🙂 Would the business grow as it did if we worked for them as a contractor? Nobody knows. What I know for sure is that they lost a lot of money in revenue because of one (bad?) decision.

Of course we are making bad decisions every day but not every day gives you an opportunity to feel satisfied about somebody else’s mistake 🙂 But that is probably just part of my bad Czech nature.

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