Derek Sivers

from the book “Anything You Want”:

Prepare to double


CD Baby doubled in size every year for the first six years. Both customers and profit, almost exactly 100 percent growth each year.

Because the business needed a warehouse for the CDs, I always had to buy more shelving. Each time I did, I’d buy twice as much as I had before. It always filled up fast, even when it got warehouse-sized. When I had filled a 5000-square-foot warehouse, I rented 10,000 square feet. When I filled up 10,000 square feet, I rented 20,000 square feet. Even that filled up fast.

But no matter what business you’re in, it’s good to prepare for what would happen if business doubled.

Have 10 clients now? How would it look if you had 20 at once? Serving 80 customers for lunch each day? What would happen if 160 showed up?

“More of the same” is never the answer. You have to do things in a new way to handle twice as much business. Processes have to be streamlined.

Never be the typical tragic small business that gets frazzled and freaked out when business is doing well. It sends a repulsive “I can’t handle this!” message to everyone.

Instead, if your internal processes are always designed to handle twice your existing load, it sends an attractive “come on in, we’ve got plenty of room” message to everyone.