The gray area

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Most business owners want to see their businesses grow. The key is in deciding just how big you want to get.

Running a one-man shop is pretty easy when it comes to things like keeping track of books, inventory, job flow, etc. Even with an employee or two, things are pretty easy to keep track of. Large shops with many employees typically have enough personnel to create dedicated positions for specific tasks, such as a receptionist, general manager, shop foreman, delivery and installation crew, assemblers, finishers, and so on.

Somewhere in between lies a gray area where there are too many people for the shop owner to supervise, too many jobs for one person to do, and not enough people to prevent overlap where the guy who assembles casework on one day might have to be the guy who is finishing it the next.

This can be an extremely difficult time for a growing shop and is where most of the shops that don't make it find themselves crashing into the wall. It has often seemed to me that it would be better to either remain small or go borrow a bunch of money to try and leapfrog over that gray area.

D.D.

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