Re: To Grow or Not to Grow?

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Posted by Luann Udell on July 10, 2000 at 21:20:59:

In Reply to: To Grow or Not to Grow? posted by M.R. Daniels on July 06, 2000 at 20:05:37:

: We are at a point where we could go full blast with production work, hire a couple more assistants (we now have two full time and 5 part time) and really get big...along with the attached headaches, or we could direct our energy to one-of-a kind and custom work and get rid of a few employees. Right now the stress levels are pretty high! We do very well with wholesale, but seem to not be making enough money for all the scrambling we do to fill orders. If we hire more people, we have to make more stuff! It seems to be a circular exercise. On the other hand, we are not sure we can sell enough custom orders to stay alive. How do we assess the advantages/disadvantages of each direction?

I'm sure there are tons of pros and cons for both directions your business could go. My first thought, after reading your post, though, was...where does your heart lie? Do you *enjoy* the kind of business where you do mostly production work, put out the catalog with 4-6 new lines every season, employ staff(and all the joy and heartache *that* entails, etc.? Some people do. Or do you want to do one-of-a-kind, custom work? People always act like that first business model necessarily grows out of the second, but I believe they are two entirely different business models. Neither one is right or wrong. They are business-style and life-style decisions. Instead of trying to force a decision by what makes the most economic sense, decide what kind of life in crafts you want to have--and put your energies there. Whichever you put your heart into, that's where you'll find success. So be sure success finds you in the place you want to be!

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