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Friday, December 08, 2006

Growth and prudence

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been taking a hard look at the choices now that we have a talented sales team and rapidly improving buiness results. I listed the potential projects worthy of further consideration, and set out to determine which should get priority.

Yesterday, even though one key person was missing from the planning meeting to discuss the choices, we reached an understanding that we have a lot of work to do closer to home before we can think too much about expanding the business. And, in one of those 'insight flashes' for ideas that should have been obvious to me weeks ago, I realized that our staff and resource levels are actually lower now than when I carefully and cautiously deliberated expanding the last time around.

The difference is experience. And that is a two-edged sword. Experience indeed gives me confidence to act decisively and quickly; to realize that expansion ahead of schedule can create new opportunities and possibilities, and in any case, Iwould not really be expanding that far into unknown business territory because I have experience running a much larger business.

But I also know about the risks of cash flow problems, badly diverted resources, and the fact that growth for growth's sake has nothing to do with business viability and profitability.

Sure, we concluded yesterday, lets expand, but let us fix what we have at home first and give the people in more remote areas of the business the opportunity to show and develop their own realistic growth without forcing the issue. Things will progress soon enough.

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