Invitation to Comment – Preparing to Grow

4/6/2010

I’m inviting your opinions on the following topic that’s foremost on my mind this summer: When do you know it’s time to grow?

I founded my business just over a year ago. I have been building it slowly, conservatively with the help of great clients (partners, really) and patient, understanding consultants. As you may have experienced, there are only so many hours in the day. Once you approach maximum commitment, something has to give. This experience leads me to one of the following options:

  1. Raise prices. This is the quintessential Adam Smith moment. Supply (my time) is limited as demand (my commitments) grow. This would certainly thin out my workload, but given our economy, this is not an attractive option.
  2. Reduce workload. See: Given our economy.
  3. Bring in more help. Having more hands will certainly make the load lighter. But will the work continue to grow? Can you make a commitment to a quality person given an uncertain amount of new work ahead? How do you balance the decision of hiring a full-time employee versus working with contractors?

I suppose a fourth option would be to toss in the towel and work for someone else. But I’ve discovered something about myself and what I do over the past year. I enjoy the freedom of working on my own, setting my own benchmarks and exceeding those standards. I’m just over a year into the wild world of self-employment. I have interesting, creative and challenging work and great people to work with. I invite your opinions on how to take that next step and encourage you to watch me grow!