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Question added to topic Grow Your BusinessMarch 13, 2008

My business is growing into larger projects, should I stop doing the small ones?

For almost 20 years we have been doing small personalized services for customers. Now we are getting involved with larger projects that take up all our time and attention. Should we stop doing the small services? We can not do both and the large projects are more profitable but I am affraid of losing the niche market we have created over many years.
This is a good occasion for doing some planning. Sketch out a sales forecast with two scenarios--one with and the other without the smaller projects. Then sketch out an expense budget, including payroll, with the two same scenarios.

The numbers should help you decide how you look and feel in both cases. But, I don't mean that the numbers will answer your questions. They will help you break things down so you can figure out what you think is worth doing. You'll start asking whether or not the growing sales in the bigger projects can support some new resources, so that you don't have to give up the other stuff. Don't forget that you're right to be asking these questions. There is the problem of displacement, meaning what you do rules out other things you don't do. I wish I could give you a straight answer, but this one has to come from you. You'll have to live with the consequences.

Tim
Tim Berry is the president of Palo Alto Software Inc., based in Eugene, Ore., which produces business planning software. He is also the author of 3 Weeks to Startup and The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan, published by Entrepreneur Press.

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