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Avoid the retrofit

Updated: Dec 8, 2022

Imagine you are building a home.

Most people hire an architect to create a plan and a contractor to execute the plan.

Suppose your contractor is ready to start. You decide to cut out the architect to save some costs. When you look at the contractor cost estimates, you notice that the plumbing is going to be expensive. So you decide to hold off on the plumbing because you won’t need water for a long time anyway.

Now the house is nearing completion and you want the contractor to install the plumbing which they now have to rip through walls and flooring to install. Your savings have now turned into increases to the overall cost.

Who would start construction without a plan and who would wait to install plumbing until they are ready to move into the house?

By analogy, consider your business. Do you have a plan or blueprint for your buildout and is it created with the expertise of an appropriately experienced professional? If you jump into the building without a plan you might elect to defer or ignore certain aspects of your business that you won't need for years. Examples include corporate governance, document retention, formalized processes and procedures, accounting,etc. When the time comes to either raise capital for growth, sell the company or the need for a third-party review or due diligence, etc. you will need to have these in place. You likely would benefit from having this for your management of the venture as it grows but if you choose to defer or ignore, you certainly can retrofit these functions or aspects until needed but at what cost? Ignoring the actual financial costs to implement later, It would be disruptive to have your management team focused on this retrofit while running a growing business and it would be difficult to put into place especially in a compressed finite time period.

Not suggesting that everything needs to be built entirely; however in the early stages it's a good investment to hire a quality professional to help you plan and stage the build-out. In the analogy of building a home, you could engage a plumber to at least stub out the plumbing to make the future add ons to complete the build out more efficient and effective when the house is complete. Similarly you can do the same with building your company. Invest in a growth plan and a quality professional to help you stage the build out and avoid retrofitting in the future.

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