If you find
Making major changes looks difficult
You are not sure how big you want a new enterprise to be
You would like to try something out – small seems more manageable but is too small to be worth it in the long run
Maybe try starting out small then expanding using an Orderly scaling process.
The word “scaling” comes from the Italian la scala, meaning the staircase. Here it refers to taking things one step or level at a time.
Orderly scaling by taking things up one level at a time is standard practice in big industrial ventures that have not been fully tried before or that require some market preparations to make them viable.
An example of an Orderly scaling process is:
- The company will build a factory to produce say 1 tonne/day. Then it will work to improve quality and test ways to take it to the next step. This may include market research and development.
- Once that is running well, the next step is to build one to produce 10 tonne/day then improve the quality and test ways to take it to the next step.
- Once that is running well, the next step is to build one to produce 100 tonne/day then improve the quality and test ways to take it to the next step.
- And so on.
This is how we approached starting a new enterprise: organic eggs. We got 80 hens started in a temporary shed, developed a market and refined our systems for managing chickens, packing and delivering eggs etc. Then we added more hens and stepped up from there.
So, if you want to go into free-range chickens, you can start out with an Enterprise model such as described in Joel Salatin’s classic that was a major force in reviving the Chicken tractor for broadacre farming, Pastured Poultry Profits.
That way you can:
- Start out with perhaps a trial flock of 100 birds on range.
- Once they are working well, you can put 1,000 on range.
- If that works out, you can scale up to 10,000 or whatever number you want.
If it didn’t work out at any of these stages you might have dropped the idea, found a different way to do it or stopped at a level that worked for you.
By this stage, you will have made your own decisions about how you want to manage the enterprise or will have adopted the original template or found a different enterprise template.
Orderly scaling need not be in an upward direction: There are situations where Orderly scaling down may be the way to go, such as if you are reducing something but not giving it up completely, just taking it back to a more manageable or profitable level.