I'd appreciate some feedback from small (1-3 fulltime employees) to medium (4+ employees) regarding the best way to manage the growth of my business...thus far I feel as if I've followed a solid business plan. I am comfortable with the manner in which I run my business now. I know my margins/costs etc.. I have established a small maintenance base of weekly/EOW customers (50+/- generating approx $5000/monthly gross sales) and typically do an additional 10k in misc 'onetime' mulch, clean-up jobs etc...also do several small landscaping jobs annually (2-5k sq/ft sod, small walls, pavers, drainage etc...). The vast majority of this work came from word-of-mouth. Now I have begun to advertise and have spent the time and money to produce quality, four-color flyers, four-color direct mail postcards, yellow-page ads etc...and the work is pouring in (well, pouring in for me...12K worth of installs scheduled within the next two weeks, in addition to my maintenance schedule which is close to resuming full speed, and more bids out waiting a response). It's so early in my season and I have only distributed 1/5 of my marketing stock so I anticipate the response rate of direct mailings/flyers to increase substantially (even if it hits 1.5/2.0% I'll be happy)...so here's my question... What is the best method for handling an increased volume of work when you are fairly certain it's going to keep coming or increase? I am leaning toward hiring additional part-time employees (I usually operate with only one laborer) and renting additional equipment to speed my time through these next few weeks until I can sense a trend. This will cut into my profit margin for these new jobs but I can't do a 10k install with one laborer in 2 days (which I need to do because I'm not running a seperate maintenance crew). If it continues at this pace I can bring the best of these part-timers on full-time and stop renting equipment and start buying the machines I've found most efficient, right? I've built what little I have on quality and being dependable...how to maintain this now that I'm being spread thin? Let me also say I am fully insured, knowledgeable on the type of work I advertise for and accept, pay my license fees/taxes, use uniforms and (as far as maintenance equipment goes) have new or nearly new gear which I keep looking sharp. Thanks for any advice.