Joel’s post on working hard while customers are clamoring for your product or services struck a chord with me. A few of us at PFL were reminiscing yesterday about the "good old days" when we had to come in on Saturdays to process the overflow of orders that had come in during the week. At the time, we were one of the few e-commerce commercial printing companies, and order volume was growing faster than we could hire and train people to accomodate the growth. We worked evenings and weekends, and vacations were rare and short.
Fortunately, we were able to get out ahead of the curve on hiring, while also leveraging technology to make our workflow more efficient. Weekend catch-up sessions are now a thing of the past, and vacations are long and fun.
Since this column is about running a high-growth business, I’ll connect the dots. Be willing to do what it takes during the steepest part of the growth curve, and hire others with the same dedication and work ethic. But know that a torrid work pace can’t be sustained forever, so plan on hiring and training enough people to provide a sane and sustainable workplace.
Then take a break!