Displacement: In the real world of small business, everything you do rules out something else you can’t do.
Understanding displacement is vital for business planning, vital for growing a business, vital for small and medium business in particular. Consider the picture here, marbles dropping into a full glass of water. The water comes splashing out of the glass and onto the table. That’s a good illustration of displacement and how it works in business.
I’ve seen it so many times: trying to plan their business, people start making lists of things that ought to be done and end up with huge unrealistic and impossible business plans because they haven’t come to terms with displacement.
Everything you do displaces something else that you can’t do. Learn to live with this and you’ll do better planning your business, and, particularly, growing your business.
(Note: this is a rewrite from a 2006 post)