To continue my thoughts on business scaling, I want to draw on my small business experience.
Aside from my smaller scale entrepreneurial and self-employment ventures, I have many years of experience working with my father in his courier company. The company used the contractor model, so no employees, and had a day crew and night crew, with about twelve drivers total.
Over the years the business had shifted from delivering for pharmaceutical companies to working with optical and dental companies. However, the overall business model remained the same. The business’s function was to pick up the supplies in bulk( glasses, contacts, small equipment), bring it to our warehouse, then distribute the items on to the various routes for delivery. While making deliveries, drivers also pick up items heading back to the optical labs and dental labs. These items are sorted and sent out with the next crew.
The work was not complex, but coordinating simple tasks within a small courier company turned out to be quite frustrating, especially dealing with contractors.
I learned that scaling a business primarily using labor can be great, but also extremely difficult as you must coordinate people, schedules, payroll, paperwork, and deal with problems all of the time. This becomes especially painful if the profit margins from the business are low, and you need a large amount of labor to run the organization. In the case of the courier company with several day and night routes, the whole company was essentially run on labor. Not like a small store where someone can hire a stoker and cashier to manage many functions. A driver can only manage one route at a time.
After years of living in and out of the company, I realized I wanted to focus on business opportunities that were primarily driven by my abilities and not a large labor pool. However, I struggled over the last few years to pin-point a potential business scaling process I could use to start and run a business. This is why Navals podcast with Joe Rogan resonated with me so profoundly. It gave me a bit of a road map to test out ideas: work with ideas I was passionate about, but with a priority on non-labor dependent scaling. For example, making a podcast, producing content for YouTube, a blog, and other types of media – all things I am currently doing. This can also be applied to creating personally branded products, such as fitness equipment, clothing, make-up, toys, and many other products.
Since I started blogging , making audio and video content consistently, I have really started to enjoy it. No matter what the future holds for my content, I am glad I took this step. If it doesn’t go anywhere productive, I know I gave it a shot, and can move on without doubt to the next idea.