Maximum Occupancy: I always love those signs inside banquet halls that report the maximum occupancy per the fire marshal’s law. I look around the room and compare it to the number. Can we fit more or are we way over already? No, I never was in risk management, I’ve done this since I was a child as a way to help me gauge the size of the crowd. It turns out it’s a good practice. 

Know your capacity before you hit overload and crush under the pressure.

Apply this to the open space on your calendar. How many clients can you handle with good service before you are struggling? Look at your ledger. Review your list of supporters. Examine all your metrics for success. Can you fit more in or are you way over already?

I ask this because I see people get very excited when they read social media ads and posts about the prospect of gaining 30,000 followers but they are a one-person show offering a service, already working 60 hours per week with no plans to hire more people. What will 30,000 followers do besides overwhelm them? 

Do you have something that 30,000 followers can use, can buy, can read, can support? 

I developed a product in 2008. I grappled and strained to get this gift item into stores as the economy was ailing. At one point a home shopping network contacted me in response to a press release I had issued on the web. The rep was most interested in the mid-range $40 gift pack. 

Angels were singing in my head! This was my big break, my tipping point! I would sell thousands! This was IT! 


As we continued talking, she outlined the number of pieces and dollar value that I would need to front to the network ready to ship, and the outlay of cash I would need to contribute to air my segment. 

Let’s just say the angels shut up and scurried away. 

I didn’t have the cash, I didn’t have that much inventory, and my supply chain was as strong as dental floss. I was simply too small without the capital to compete on such a large stage. 

If you can legitimately attract 30,000 followers, then what?

How many followers can you accommodate?

Have you thought this through? How have you been converting followers into donors or purchasers? Do you have the infrastructure to handle more? If so, how much more? 

Set reasonable goals and objectives.

You might find you are setting your sights on something you can’t support. I can help you create reasonable objectives and winning strategies to help you maximize your capacity while not burning out. Click here to send me an email.

Leslie A.M. Smith founded McCormick L.A. in 1994 offering public relations and marketing consulting to nonprofits and small businesses. She recently published Laws of Promotion. The 50-page promotional guide for small businesses and local nonprofits is available now on Amazon.

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