Listen & Learn 002: Why Does My Small Business Need Infrastructure?


Small business is serious business.

Some people assume that small is indicative of the revenue potential of a business. This could not be further from the truth. In general, small, at least for me and Equilibria, indicates the number of employees (less than 250). But it is by no means a reflection of a company’s revenue!

This makes the case for why business infrastructure is needed:

  • For standardization,
  • To demonstrate your ability to scale,
  • For sustainable operations, and
  • To create a consistent experience for customers and staff.

If you are serious about scale, from an operations perspective, then it’s a must.  The key is to replicate what you do best.  Consistency is vital to ongoing success. 

Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Well, I’m going to be a little controversial and ask that when it comes to providing your product or service, that you become “insane.”

If you’ve got a good thing going, you want to replicate or clone your business to get the same results every single time!

But in order to get those same results over and over, you need business infrastructure.

In this second episode of the Listen & Learn series, I explore why being insane isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially when it comes to managing fast growth in your small business.  I make the case for insanity in your business operations and why business infrastructure is vital to not just talking about taking your business to the next level, but actually doing it!

As you listen, you’ll also learn two real-life examples of how the original founders of now popular business software products (Powerpoint® and Microsoft Windows®) not only recognized the importance of business infrastructure in scaling their businesses, but actually made strategic moves to ensure it happened.  Both are to be admired for this recognition and decisive action. 

Here’s an excerpt from the book, Accidental Empires, by Robert Cringely:

    “This was 1983.  Microsoft was the second largest company in the PC industry, was incredibly profitable, was growing at a rate of 100% per year, and had no debt.  Microsoft was also a mess.  There was no infrastructure at all, no management systems, no procedures.

    “…Just a group of kids wearing jeans and t-shirts and working in a cheap office near the freeway in Bellevue.  But Bill Gates knew that to achieve his goals, Microsoft would have to become a much larger company, with attendant big company systems.”

    He hired Jon Shirley to be the new president of Microsoft.  “Shirley’s job was to build a business structure for Microsoft that both paralleled and supported the product development organization being built by Gates.”

Once that was in place they began expanding overseas.

And the rest is history.

So go ahead.  Be insane!  It might just be the thing needed to take your business to the next level!

Resources referenced:

·       Something Ventured documentary

·       The E-Myth book

·       Accidental Empires book


Like what you heard?  Download the episode and subscribe to the show. 

Now available on iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher.

Got a question about something you heard?

Leave your question and feedback in the comment section below.  I’ll be sure to respond!

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Listen & Learn 001: What is Business Infrastructure?

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