Ownership-Based Expansion

Providers of business services are in a continual grapple to grow without becoming over-exposed during economic crisis.  When customers and partners seek advice here, I encourage them to look into ways to strengthen relationships with business customers, contractors, and entrepreneurs, as opposed to vertically integrating.  

Nearly all businesses are leveraging infrastructure and services built by large service providers who have the resources and willingness to directly compete with them.  In this time of quarantine and crisis, service providers are finding themselves running at full capacity because they operate on the assumption that any essential feature of their customers' business should be outsourced to them.  This can be a healthy attitude for growth, but many businesses are at a crux where more discretion is necessary, lest service providers swallow their customer base.  

Heavily subsidized services, endorsements, and capital-injections are proving to be more robust ways of keeping the spring water flowing than pure-growth plays.  Now we are seeing franchise-like models where local business owners are backed by partner networks, jumpstart programs, and shared retail space; something akin to service-oriented architecture for brick and mortar.  I am quite fond of this as a way to inspire vibrant cultural centers in cities where small businesses are finding it difficult to compete with the big guys.  It keeps service providers from becoming over-extended where there are local partners available, and sets small business owners up for success.