On Becoming a Smaller Giant

I’ve been working on a couple of business plans recently. One is for a disaster recovery center that would augment the Pertingo® Computer Support Services that my Indianapolis small business computer outsourcing company provides. The other is for a new service we call Online Presence Management. Now I’m a story teller, so the narrative parts of the plan come easy for me. I can explain how the world will be better from these new businesses and services having come into being in a way that is simple to understand. Then I come to the financial projections. Every business plan I’ve seen shows a revenue projection that rises steadily to the right. Most have the expected hockey stick shape where, if the business can just make it to the flex point, it turns into a veritable money machine.

I wrestle with the projections now because I don’t for a minute believe that either of these new ideas will become an incredibly large enterprise. It took a long time for me to come to grips with the notion that Port-to-Port Consulting wasn’t going to become a conglomerate of some sort. American business literature tells us that we’re failures if we don’t keep growing and growing and growing. I no longer buy that crap. Look around. Most businesses you know are not constantly growing. They’re humming along at a size that works for the business owners. 

If we stop telling the lie that a business must continually grow larger in order to survive, we might have more entrepreneurs out there. Both of the business plans I’m writing are for small businesses that will remain forever small. The disaster recovery center is space limited. We’re using the extra space in our building, which we bought when we were going to expand to rule computer outsourcing in central Indiana. The other has potential to become incredibly large, but in reality, it’s in a low barrier-to-entry market. It won’t get enormous because there will always be hoards of competitors. 

That’s all right. In fact, that’s the whole idea. If I can get these two things going, they will contribute to the overall collection of enterprises that provide my standard of living. I’ll have fun doing them. We’ll create new jobs and provide a useful service to our community. Why can’t I be happy with that?

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