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Archive for July 11, 2010

“First you get the capital…..”

July 11, 2010 1 comment

I want to talk money… I want to talk capacity…I want to know your thoughts on the relationship of both these things—for I just don’t know anymore.

Working with Rent-to-Own is amazing. But, like any small business it gets confusing. It is an endless chicken and egg dilemma.  What comes first? Capital, or capacity? The business people we work with have the capacity but not the capital, and right now, from my perspective, Rent-to-Own has the access to capital but lacks the capacity.

Two weeks ago, while working from an agent level I couldn’t stop saying capacity, “first you get the capacity” at the time it was clear in my mind that we had to support our agents and that we should be investing the time into making our current team stronger. But this past week I have been working from a management level, and now I am leaning more toward the money. We need to have the capital to make the company work more efficiently, to build capacity we need capital.

But when we focus on capital we are not focusing on capacity. An endless circle of confusion!

Is this making any sense?

I know that the easy answer is a balance of both, but when there is a small team of people–all who are super busy, we have to prioritize. We have to figure out what the perfect balance is, what does it look like and how can we find it? We need to find this equilibrium. It is both, but how do you get it?

When do you stop investing your time in a person and move on to someone who is better suited for the job? When and how do you choose to grow?

Rent-to-Own can develop, it has to grow, the demand is there. It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of each entrepreneur that I meet. I see Peter, who comes from his farm where he says, he works with a “group of young, strong men, we hand irrigate, with buckets from the river, everyday to make our vegetables grow larger and faster. If we can work together, bring our money together we can buy a treadle pump”  Peter knows his business, he was already talking about new markets where he can sell his product. We need capital to deal with Peter and his coworkers.  But we also need the agent in his area to be able to support and grow with Peter.

I see this demand, but I fear if we don’t have the network of agents supported we will not grow smoothly. Too many mistakes will be made, and trust is a hard thing to gain and such an easy thing to loose.

Business is tough, growth is hard and learning is important—it is the quest for the balance that eludes me, and is my greatest desire to discover.

“First you get the…uh what?”

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