Signed, Sealed, and Scale
September 1st, 2012. I couldn’t believe it. In less than 2 years, I signed a lease with the Port of Portland. Rhett PDX would be located between Delta and Southwest Airlines cargo offices. I would have 1700 square feet of office and warehouse space. I was so proud of myself.
I would have space for my inventory. I would have a shipping station for online sales. I would have an area for product photography complete with backdrop and lighting. I would have space to set up my workbench to repair and refurbish computer equipment. I would have a reception area for will-call pickup customers – no more neighbors that thought I was selling drugs out of my house!
The leased space gave me room to expand my capacity and production. It was in entrepreneurial heaven.
Scaling the business with SKUs
I had been growing my supplier base both locally outside of Portland. With only the proceeds from my ongoing business, I would continue to purchase more inventory. At that point, the name of the game was “SKUs” (stock keeping unit). I needed to increase my SKU count.
The more SKU’s I had, meant the more offers I could have for sale, which means the more opportunities to make a sale, which would mean more sales. But by scaling inventory, SKUs, and sales, I noticed something else. Scaling also required more and more of my time.
Where’s the freedom???
Entrepreneurship is supposed to lead to more money and freedom. Although I was increasing revenues, my freedom was decreasing! I wasn’t there yet, but I could see myself heading back towards working 7 days a week, morning to night.
I was starting to panic at the thought of reaching burnout again. I need to figure something out now.