In business, it’s normal to go through cycles of comfort and discomfort. #2 son, who studies economics, told me the proper name for it and drew me the chart, but I don’t remember the official details.
Anyway, you grow and have plenty of work and money is coming in and everything’s good. Then you get too busy and you have to hire someone else, so the money goes out in another direction and things are less comfortable financially, but there are enough people to do the work and you grow a bit more and there are enough people and also enough money and you’re comfortable again. It may not be people, of course; it might be a larger building or more machinery or something, but for us it’s people.
We hired The New Guy, and that helped, and then we increased his hours, and that helped some more, but now I’m absolutely swamped again.
This is where it’s uncomfortable. Not only am I back to working way too much, but The New Guy is a student and can’t be expected to be the additional full time person we really need. I’ve been imaging that #2 daughter might come on board at this point, but it looks like that won’t happen.
So I’m back to 50 or 60 hour weeks for a bit till we figure out what to do. The danger here is not only that I’ll be living in squalor and eating take out pizza while my husband languishes alone, but also that things won’t get done, or won’t get done fast enough, and we’ll lose customers. We’ve lost one already this year, actually. He was very nice, very positive, but it’s entirely possible that we screwed up on that account.
This is the big danger in growth. For a company like ours that has been bootstrapped and has no extra capital, it’s a danger that we face every time we hit this point in the cycle.
Yesterday, in addition to some hours of work, I also got started on my T shirt quilt. You cut squares of interfacing (I used 10″ squares) and fuse them to your old T shirts. Trim them to match the squares, sort them by color families, and keep going till you have enough squares to make your quilt.