Inflection Points

The most dangerous time for a business is during inflection points – either from internal or external factors.

We can all name the majority of external inflection points – recessions, logistic changes, new laws, etc.  All these effect the business and can potentially ruin them or at least seriously damage them.

The less obvious inflection points are internal.  They can appear due to logistical, staffing, financial or marketing reasons.  They can strangely enough appear from growth as well.  And that’s what I’d like to discuss – inflection points due to growth.

Businesses often have processes & capital that work for them at certain sizes – bureaucracies or lack of them, physical space or financial capital.  However, at a certain point, they no longer work because the business has outgrown them.

However, the next ‘step’ in the business – whether it’s a larger space, more employees or more processes is often too onerous for the current size of the business.  You are in no-man’s land and it’s at this point of the business that errors are most likely to occur.

We’re currently transitioning through a few inflection points – in employees & processes and the resulting error rate in mis-shipped orders or customer miscommunication is frustrating.  Sometimes, all you can do is take a deep breath, tell yourself that this will past and get down to managing the chaos while you (hopefully) transition through that point and move onto the next stage of your business.