Many owners whose businesses are on the plateau think that success depends on investing capital in the business, but growth for your business can come from unexpected sources, such as developing your business’ infrastructure.
If You Build It…
We often hear people say: If you build it, they will come. That was true for the baseball diamond in the film A Field of Dreams and there’s something to it when it comes to infrastructure.
Developing your infrastructure doesn’t simply mean building a massive facility and hoping it will fill up. That would be dangerous. Instead you might look at how you can increase capacity on your production line. Often caps to capacity are not obvious but they are there.
Infrastructure Increases Capacity
When I ran a veterinary blood bank, some people pushed us to move to a larger facility. The people who ran the facility were resistant because we weren’t turning clients away so it didn’t look like we had a problem with capacity, but we did move to a significantly larger facility and within three months we had already outgrown it.
Want to See Where Your Business Stands?
For long-term success, it is vital that business owners have an accurate picture of where they are today.
Infrastructure is a threshold-style indicator. Increasing your capacity, will actually allow for an increase in business.
Don’t Assume You’re Not At Capacity
Often owners miss growth opportunities because they only look at the fact that, like our blood bank, they are currently able to service all the customers they have without being overwhelmed. They believe they have further ability to provide goods or services—and do not realize that often they don’t.
To some degree infrastructure uncaps business psychologically. When our blood bank was located in the small, cramped facility, sometimes people wouldn’t leave their pets with us because it didn’t look like what they expected. Having space that suited what we did, and looked professional, contributed to the increase in our business. Staff members were able to be more effective and efficient. These factors are part of the threshold concept that uncapped our business.
What infrastructure do we need?
Infrastructure is very specific to an industry and sometimes even to your business. What a food business needs is very different than what a manufacturing company requires. Ultimately no one knows better than you what you need to produce your deliverable and that is your infrastructure.
Whatever your business is, you need to take a good hard look and test whether your infrastructure is actually capped or whether slight expansions will pay huge dividends.
Increasing your capacity through enhancing or increasing your infrastructure is a slingshot to take your business off the plateau. If you increase your capacity, your business will usually grow.