gpilling - 4:42 pm on Feb 15, 2011 (gmt 0)
Keep raising your prices until you can hire staff to do the most time consuming things, or you can outsource it to a sub-contractor. Think about automating your processes. You have said several times on WebmasterWorld that your products are often custom, that buyers have specific requests. Even with the specific requests, it is still possible to automate many things. Maybe there are some sub-assemblies that are common to each widget that can be contracted out, and then you hire a person to do the custom work. If you need more sales volume of standardized products to justify the hired help, then find a few distributors around the country/world. Sure you will lose margin to them, but you should be able to greatly increase efficiency and this can more than offset the increase in overhead (for the help) and the decrease in margin (selling through distribution). I have personally done this in a manufacturing company I owned. It was scary but ultimately successful.