You would think the last five or six years would have sharpened-up even the most laid-back of businesses. With the world in recession, consumers cutting back and austerity the order of the day, every sale or new contract has been a hard-won prize.
But listen to Shrewsbury mayor Jon Tandy talk about his business trip to China this week and you wonder if that really is the case.
Incredibly, the mayor had been met with a degree of indifference from some of the companies he approached to join his trade delegation.
While many jumped at the opportunity to open up new trade routes, others told the mayor they already had enough business at home and didn’t need any more, thank you very much.
Sometimes you wonder what planet these companies must be on.
When a minor catastrophe struck Chez Simcock last autumn, we approached a number of local firms for quotes on the cost of digging us out of our hole.
We expected to be inundated with estimates – but hardly heard a thing.
This was a reasonable-sized job which would have earned the successful bidder a decent pay day. But still nothing.
In the end we simply called in someone recommended by a friend who was only too happy to help out.
Days later, a wheel disintegrated on my wife’s car.
We ordered a replacement from the local dealer at a cost of around £400 and were delighted when it turned up within 24 hours.
Amazingly, the dealer then failed to offer to fit the new wheel – leaving us instead to book the car into a rival garage across town for the work.
Maybe I have missed something, but to be able to turn away work in such a cavalier fashion in the current economic climate seems a little odd to say the least.
Councillor Tandy’s trip to China will not meet such a laissez-faire response, of course.
The Chinese are chomping at the bit for work and eager to overtake the USA to become the world’s foremost economy.
With both stronger trade and tourist links on the table, it is a valuable and rare opportunity for Shropshire companies to strike new and potentially profitable partnerships.
And these are links which could reap rewards for years to come as the Chinese economy continues to flourish on the back of the country’s insatiable appetite for progress.
Deals done in the next few days could be the start of relationships which last decades and bring new jobs and wealth to this county.
When those are the stakes, you would have to be a fool to pass up the chance to take part.