Better To Be A Smaller Or Bigger Integrator?

Note: To be clear, this is intended for discussions on pros and cons, not to be advocate a single answer.

This was prompted by To Hire Additional Techs Or Not To Hire........ where one respondent suggested:

On your next few jobs, increase your labor rate by 10-15%. Can you make more money with the same crew? Can you find customers that are less price sensitive, and thereby hopefully move you into a slightly higher caliber of work.

Generally speaking, I would prefer to keep employee count as low as reasonably possible.

I see the upside of being small as adding more employees adds complexity, cost, risk. However, there are upsides to being bigger such as: less dependence on a single or few people, more expertise within the company, better able to do larger, more complex projects, etc.

Where do you to stand on this? 

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"***** ** *** ** stand ** ****?"

* ***** ** ** 'better' ** ** * high-performing ******* ********** ****** you **** *** *** become * '******-**********' ***** integrator.

*** ******** ** ***** are *** *************.

***** ****** 

** ** *****’* **** out, ***’** **** **** out **** **’* **** to ** ***** ******.

* **** **** **** integrators **** *** ** over *** *****. ** many *****, * ****** with ********* ****** ****** a ***-****** *******, *** then ****** ** *** employees ** *** ******* grows. **** ** ***** owners **** ** ********** skills, **** * **** time **********, *** **** the **** ** **** personally ******** ** ***** detail ** ***** *******.

**** **** ** ********** style ***** **** *** have ** ** ***** five *********, *** ****** start ** **** ******** down **** *** ***** to *** **** ******. Only ***** ****** *** can ***** ** ******** and ******* ******* **** allow *** ******* ** work ******* ***** ******** involvement *** ************ *** beyond **** *****. 

*** ******* **** ****** face ** **** **** really **** ******* ******** in ******* ******* *** dislike *** ********** ******* of *** ********. *** last ***** **** **** to ** ** ******** away *** *** ***** so **** **** *** focus ** ***** ****** management ******. ***** ****** would ******** ** **** happier *** **** **** money ** **** **** their ******* *****.

** *** ***** ****, there *** **** ****** who ******* ******* *** role ** ******* *** are ***** ** **** the ********** ** ******* a ****** ********. ***** owners *** *** **** that ******* ******* ** growing *****-***** **********.

***** ** ********** ******* wrong **** ****** ****** - **'* ****** * matter ** ***** ****** with ******** ***** **** you **** *** ******* and ****** *** ******** of **** **** *** want ** ******. 

* ***** * *** into ******** *********** ****** well. ** *** ***** and ******* *** **** to **** *******. * have *** ****** ** place ** **** ** with ********, ***** *** so * *** ***** on ******** ***********. **'* been * **** ** progress *** ** **** chipping **** ** **.

 

********** * **** ** run * ********, *** work ** *** ********. I **** **** **** I *** ** * certain *****, * **** be *** ** *** daily *****. * **** feel **** **** * larger **** ** ******* and **** ****, ** will **** **** ********* to ****** *** *** and ***** ** ********.

**** ******...** *** **** a ******** ****?  ** you **, **** ** it.

** ***, *** *** winging **. ** *** do *** **** *** to ***** * ****, there ** ****** ** free ****...****** ******** ******, retired **********, ***.

"** *** *** *** plan *****, *** **** is **** *********"...**** ** me ** * ****** many ***** ***.

********* * **** ******* small, *** ******* *** reasons ******* ******--* **** to ** ** ** the ********!

*'** **** ***** *** to **** *** **** too ****.. **** ** them *** ******** ** pieced ***.

** ****** * *** on **** *******, ** advice ** ** **** as ***** ** ********, without ****** *********** *******. I **** **** **** small **********, ** ******* sectors, **** *** ****** afraid ** *** *** charge **** ***** **** is *****. **** ***** they ***** ******** ****** reasonably, *** ******* *** more *******, ******* ****** to "******" ** *** way.

* ***** **** **** you **** *** ***** pricing *** ******* **** mix ****** ****** **** employees ****** ******* *** are ****** **. *** backup *** *** ** due ** **** ** headcount.

 

* **** ****** *** a ***** ********** *** was ***** *** *********** to *** * **** large *******, *** ***** was **** ****** *** capabilities.  *** *** ****** out **** *** *** profitable, *** *** * major ********...**** *** *** was *********, ** *** devoted ** **** ** our ********* ** ***** it, *** ******** *** empty *** ** ****** went *** ** ********.

** *** **** *****...**** small *** ***** *** temptation ** *** ****** projects ****** *** *** subcontract **** ** **.

** ** *****, * feel **** *** ******* contractor **** ** **** you *** **** *** install **************, *** ********.  Unfortunately, **** ** *** small *********** * **** sell * ****** **** install **, ******* *** serial ***** *****, ****** scrambling.

* **** **** ** a ***** ******* ** can **** **** ******** service. *** ******* **** us *** ***** **.

*** ***** ***** ***** it ****** **** ** the ****** ****. * lot ** ************* ***'* bother **** ** ******* we ***'* ********* * minimum ******* ****** ** business.

***** *** **** ******** we ******* **** ************ ****, *** **'* **** to *** ********* ****** for *** *******. *** when ** **** **** the ****** *** *****, we **** ***'* *** it ******* **'** *** small *** *** ************* won't **** ** **.

*** **** ** *** heartwarming ***** ** *** our ******* ******** ***** up **** ******.

*** **** ** *** heartwarming ***** ** *** our ******* ******** ***** up **** ******.

**** **** ********...

*** * ***** ******* is ******. * **** worked *** **** **** the *****.  ********* **** to *** *** **** they **** **** * small ********** *** ********* have * **** ******* of * ******. **** that ***** **** **** have **** *** ****.

* ***** ********** *** typically ******* *** ******** and *** **** ******* the ********* ******.   “******** ** *** ****’* fix *** ******** **** it *****’* ****** **** you *** ** *** the *******.”  * ***** ********** can ***** ** ***** projects **** * ***** integrator ** *** **** is **********. ********** **** is * ***** *********** best ******. ****** ***** bid **** *** ******** a ***** **********. **** for ******** **** ** Kansas ****, ** **** are ***** ** ***** a *** *******, **** if **** *** **** come ** **** * final ****** ******** ******** of. * ******* **** this *** *** **** a ****** **** ********** out ** ******** ** you ***'* **** *** deadline, ****** ***** *** failure ** *** ****** orders. **** ***** **** they *** * ******* to *** ******* *** and **** **** ***** bankrupt * *** *********.

**** **** **** *** airport * ***** ******** integrator *** ****** * project *** **** ** that **** ** *** bid ****. **** **** deep ******* ****** *** the ********* ** *** beginning *** *** *** of *** **** *** contract ************. *** ***** integrators **** ***** **** better ****** ** **** products. ******** ** *** are ********* **** * number *** *** ** employee. ** ****** *** much *** ***** ********** likes *** **** *** have * **** *** when **** *** *** rid ** ******* *** have ** *** *** of *******. ******* **** is ***** *********** ********* have **** ****** ******** but *** ******. ***** isn't ********** ** *** don't **** *** *** work *** *** **** don't ***** *** **** respect.

********** *** **** ** the ********** ***** ** always *** **** *** support ****** ** **** the ***** ********* *****. I **** *** * small ********** *** ** have ****** ** ****** on *****. ** ***** 30 ****** ****** */*** is ****** *******. **** is ****** *****, ***********, management ** ******** *******. To ** * "****" integrator ** ***** * lot ** *** ****** the ****** **** ** get *** *** ****. Hence *** ********** ****** are ********* ****** **** others.

 

 

***** ********** **** ********* have ****** ******* - don't **** *** ******** for *** *** ****** space, ****** ****, ***..  

***** *** ******** *** it's ** ** **** goal.  ** *** **** $150k ** * *-* person ****, *** **** think ** ****** * people ***'** **** $****....**** luck.  *** *** **** a ****** **** *** you **** ***** * lot **** ***** *** things ** ***** *****.  

*** *** ** *** projects - ******* *********** are ****** ** ******* jobs; *** ****** ** be **** *********, ***..  You ***'* *** ********** doing $** ****.

*** ***'* *** ********** doing $** ****.

** **** ******* **** are, **** ** **** their **** **** *** office ****. **** ** why * ****** **** a *** ***** **** them, **** ** *** benefits/pension *****'* **** ****.

*** ** *** ****** that * *** ** when * ***** *********** starts ** **** ** gets ****** *** ** a ****** ********** **** the ****** ** **** they **** ******** ***** clients ****** ******* *********. It ******* **** ******** start ******* **** ***** by *** *** ******* and *** *** ******* that *** **** *****.

* ***** **** ********* need ** ******** *****:

*** ** * **** the ******* ***** **** my ******* ******* *** come ** ****** ** this ********** *******?

**** **** ** *** in ***** ** **** the ***** ********** ********** that ** ******* **** doesnʻt *********?

*** *** ***** * small ********** ****** ** grow.

 

******: ** ***** * service **** ******** ** a ********* *** ** accepts. ** ****** *** following ******

 

********: *** * ***** for *** ******* ****

*********: * ***** ******** calls **** ********* *** you ***** * *** of **** *********** *** issue. **** **** ******** they **** ******** * large *********

 

******: ********** ********* ** has ******** ******* ********, client ******** ***** ****** to ********* ****** *** announces **** **** ******** a *** ********* ***** project

 

****** *****: * *** beers *****, ****** ** my ***, ******* ****** off *** *******...

 

******* * **** **** being ****** **** **** installers, *** ******** *** ability ** ****** ** these *** *** ***** would ** ******.