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The Difficult Size of 7 to 35 Employees

Source | Linkedin | Scott Hoover | CPA, Pastor, Writer

In 10 years of CFO work, I’ve noticed something. There’s a “sour spot” in company size. I’m calling it the “Zone of Pain”.

Some companies enter the zone at 4 employees and others stay in it through 100, but in the aggregate, 7 to 35 seems to be “the zone”.

The issue isn’t profit, it’s stress. A business in the Zone of Pain is:

  1. Too big to stop when the owner is gone, but too small to run on its own when the owner is away. This creates an endless stress cycle the owner can’t easily escape.
  2. Too big for the owner to personally track and manage everything, but too small to truly have others do it. Profits may actually rise in this lean structure, but often at deep personal cost to the owner’s sanity, health, or relationships.

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