Hare or the tortoise?

Tapprs is growing!

Honestly, I didn’t think it would take off much. Out of my frustration of not being able to figure out what I wanted to pursue as a business, I simply started something whimsically. That has grown into what could turn out to be THE BEST TRAVEL & PHOTOGRAPHY RENTAL in Bangalore, if I stay put for a year! Oh yeah, maybe… more than just that!

Of course, there are issues. But those are sweet ones. Of developing a brand. Of growing, managing and scaling up. Of making profits. Of wondering if my hobby has gone for a toss devoured by the demon of money making!

But those are way better than issues such as not having an idea to pursue, not having customers, not being able to push your idea / service / product.

Now that Tapprs has had quite a few customers and the pricing strategy has more or less stabilized and as more customers get to know about it… the inevitable has to be done. Scaling up.

More gear.  From wide angles to primes to telephotos. From binoculars to spare batteries.

From being a renter to a value provider for your trip, photo shoot or simply,  pre-purchase-testing advice.

Scaling up is a tricky thing.

If one is enthusiastic that his baby is growing and feeds it with more than what it needs, it turns into a plump pig.

On the other hand, if he doesn’t keep it capitalized enough (that is, money in the bank upfront to meet the needs of a growing baby), the venture will

  • run out of cash for day to day activities (you really need a lesson on free cashflow if you don’t get this one)
  • lose opportunities of more revenue (if only you had more money to buy more equipment to meet more rentals)
  • depend on monthly revenues trickling in for scaling up and that is a slow process

Personally, esp w.r.t Tapprs & finance, things are simple.

I treat Tapprs as just another asset I own (and maintain books like mad for it separately) and hence, apply all the rules of investing I had followed these years… including a maximum cap on how much I would put into a single asset (keep your eggs diversified, esp, if you are not god). The super clever Richard Branson does it all the time!

That means, I have a limit on how much I would invest into it comfortably. Beyond that, my risk style is a bit too conservative to allow for more.

Now, for the first time in my earning career, I am wondering if I should break it and just put in sufficient funds to

  • capitalize Tapprs better
  • further the brand into a Travel & Photography hangout in Bangalore

I am reasonably confident enough of the ideas I have now. But risk remains.

Should I play tortoise, put in a small additional amount and wait for monthly revenues to grow, re-invest that and grow further? I am not bothered about any Hare that is sleeping or running, but I am worried if my tortoise would be painfully slow.

Or play the hare, plonk in more funds and run just fast enough? And yeah, make sure I don’t get arrogant and sleep, for Christ’s sake!

I know that I still love a good night of sleep and that I like to diversify risk. Also, I believe risk is a factor of knowledge, control and luck in that situation. The first two have improved significantly over the last 3 months for Tapprs. The 3rd one is the wildcard.

I am not gonna tell you what I decide on. But if you follow the site and perhaps, rent out a few items, you will figure that out yourself ;-).


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