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An Analogy on Scalability

by | Nov 5, 2021 | Business

An Analogy on Scalability

by | Nov 5, 2021 | Business

Most people that talk to me frequently know that I love analogies and scalability. So let’s combine the two this week and discuss an observation that I’ve noticed along my journey.

The Craftsman’s Dilemma

In my life, I have met and built relationships with many different tradesmen. Carpenters, mechanics, electricians, and the like. What I’ve noticed is that there are many very skilled individuals that work in a given space. Some of these skilled workers have been at their craft for so long that they can disassemble and reassemble a car like it’s nothing. They’re highly efficient, incredibly skilled, and possess a massive amount of knowledge about their trade.

These kinds of tradesmen usually own their own businesses, utilizing their gifts to make a living and serve the public. They’re a vital group, propping-up the economy and making people’s lives easier. The best ones are also generally successful, making anywhere from $80,000 to $120,000 yearly on their own.

But despite their invaluable skills, knowledge, and experience, each skilled worker can only perform so much work. Even the most hardworking individuals can only work around 60 to 80 hours per week. That means there’s a cap on their earning potential due to the fact that they cannot work on more than one task at any given time. Their standard workday usually doesn’t exceed more than eight or ten hours. They are, after all, human beings with families and other responsibilities too.

Simply put, a roofer may have million-dollar skills, but he only has about $100,000 capacity in his schedule. But what if that roofer could replicate his processes? That’s where scalability comes into play.

The Power of Scalability

The answer to the craftman’s dilemma is scalability. If a tradesman is able to replicate and scale his processes to make them perform at a simultaneous rate, he or she could profit off of or more than eight or ten working hours in one day. How so? By delegating.

By building a team and delegating tasks, this single tradesman can go from owning a company of one to developing an exponentially increasing revenue stream. In the contracting world, this is sometimes to referred to as “sub-contracting” in certain cases. Sub-contracting usually involves hiring another skilled worker to perform a specific task in the job. Let me draw a further example:

John Smith is a homeowner and he would like to hire a contractor to build an addition on his home. He does some research and finds a very talented carpenter by the name of David Jones. David is a master carpenter and has been working in residential construction for all of his life. He is very skilled but also very busy, and he is also limited in his knowledge as he is primarily a carpenter.

The scope of the work includes installing plumbing, electrical, and HVAC. David isn’t as skilled in those fields as he is in carpentry, and trying to do all of that additional work could make the project take way more time than he would like. So what does he do?

Instead of railroading himself into doing all of that work, he could call his friends Joe, Tom, and Henry. Joe is a plumber, Tom is an electrician, and Henry is an HVAC technician. David could hire these other workers to help him on the project. This would speed up the project and also increase David’s revenue on the job. Because David organized the job and delegated the tasks, he could make a residual profit off of the time of his cohorts. In this case, David could be referred to as the “General Contractor.”

Now imagine if David built himself three teams of carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and HVAC technicians. He could allocate his workers to three jobs at once. All he’d really have to do is understand how to organize his projects efficiently.

The caveat to this however is that David must not only possess technical aptitudes, but he also must utilize project management and leadership skills. With that, he would also have to set some standards in who he hires. His biggest issue would probably be finding capable and dependable workers. Nonetheless, David could go from making a limited amount of money based solely on his abilities to making a limitless amount of money based on his ability to manage the abilities of other tradesmen.


This model is not new. This is not some novel and revolutionary idea that I invented. This is a common practice that has been in place for probably as long as people have been getting paid for using their skills to help others.

The most successful construction companies take on the burden of building relationships, getting contracts, insuring their work, and owning/maintaining equipment. They then seek tradesmen to help them complete projects. They’re getting the jobs done at a faster rate, giving these workers a (hopefully, if they’re ethical) good wage, and making money for their management of these jobs.

This post is written for those like me, skilled and entrepreneurial individuals looking to grow their businesses. You may work as a freelance web developer and you may be happy with your income, but consider the potential revenue you could generate simply by delegating and running interference between clients and hired help.

I love talking about topics like this. When I write or talk about these things, it keeps me motivated and focused. I’m currently in the process of aggressively expanding my network. I’ll have some major announcements to make in the coming weeks that I’ve been somewhat unable to publicize just yet. If you think we could benefit from an engaging discussion about entrepreneurship, work ethic, mindset development, or anything else, follow this link to schedule a virtual meeting on my calendar. I love meeting new people and having intriguing conversations. Most people that get to know me would say that I’m a conversationalist, to put it lightly.

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Photo Credits: Unsplash.