I’d Like a Bigger Boat

rockport dinghyI’ve recently been striving to push Endress|Analytics to the “next level.” To really expand the business into a full-fledged consulting agency. I already have several other consultants under contract and I have been able to submit work to some of them on a fairly regular basis. However, Endress|Analytics still suffers from the effects of the “feast or famine” fluctuations.

When I started this journey back in 2008, Endress|Analytics was just a small dinghy in the middle of a vast ocean of possibility. It was buffeted by the ups and downs of opportunity. I did my best to steer it in the right direction. Over time I’ve managed to replace that dinghy with a small boat and added a small crew to assist. However the boat is still small enough to feel the effects of the “waves.” While I don’t envision ever building up to having a large ocean liner (corporation), I would like to get a large enough boat that can ride the waves more smoothly.

So to that end I’ve considered a variety of options to help kick start my efforts to speeding up the growth of Endress|Analytics. I’ve been thinking that an influx of cash might help and I’ve looked at grants or loans. They don’t really give grants to consulting agencies, and I really didn’t want to take on the burden of a loan. Next I considered “crowd sourcing,” but I was worried about the negative impact of doing that might have on my business. Maybe an influx of cash isn’t the right approach.

Next I turned to some industry leaders for advice. They gave me a lot to think about when it comes to the direction of my company, but I’ll admit not all the advice resonated with me. One key piece of advice was to narrow my focus more. To trade in my dinghy for a surfboard, as it were, to make myself more nimble to ride the waves. However, I crave variety in my work and narrowing my focus would reduce that variety. It’s certainly worth considering, but I honestly don’t know if I want to. I understand why having a more specialized focus can increase my demand in that area. I just don’t know how willing I am to do so.

At the end of the day I’m still just looking for a bigger boat …

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