Working on two difference businesses at once?!

by LivingCali758 11 replies
When I started my consulting business about 5 months ago, I invested into it everything from ground up. Everything was built from scratch, programmed from scratch, customer price plans to programming, services, consulting, vendors etc. When I started advertising, I’m still in my early development as to what makes a person respond. I have only sent out around 60 mailers but with no success, however I’m not discouraged. If anything I’m more motivated to brainstorm and find alternative ways of getting a response.

If my experience has taught me anything is that with determination, repetition and change in approach there is a way to find that success.

Now, here is the part that gets difficult for me. I have hobbies, and through one of my hobbies I was able to find a niche in the market place that I can expand and grow from that no one has gone after yet. I already see the potential in this, I’m going to start building it from the ground up. There is a market for it, a few years ago I made a website kind of based on the same thing and I had 1,200 people join. I stopped working on it and the site went down but I was young at the time, didn’t see the potential. I still own the domains and I want to start it back up again. Not only will I enjoy every single minute of putting it together, but it would be beneficial to people, I will also be able to possibly make profit from it in the future and develop a great lead of people interested.

So my question to everyone here in particular,

Is it possible to focus on two different businesses at once? I want to be successful in everything I do, that might not always work out the same but I want to at least “try” and make it happen. Does anyone else currently have or own multiple businesses?

Cheers
#main internet marketing discussion forum #businesses #difference #working
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  • Profile picture of the author dvduval
    I've got 4 businesses right now, 2 related to my hobby. What is important as you get bigger is you have to develop people and make sure they can manage things when you are busy with another business. If you aren't ready hire, start thinking ahead. Document "how" you do things in your business, so when someone you hire comes along, it will be easy to get them up to speed quickly!
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    • Profile picture of the author LivingCali758
      Originally Posted by dvduval View Post

      I've got 4 businesses right now, 2 related to my hobby. What is important as you get bigger is you have to develop people and make sure they can manage things when you are busy with another business. If you aren't ready hire, start thinking ahead. Document "how" you do things in your business, so when someone you hire comes along, it will be easy to get them up to speed quickly!
      How do you put the time and effort into each business without sacrificing time from one or the other?
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      • Profile picture of the author dvduval
        Originally Posted by LivingCali758 View Post

        How do you put the time and effort into each business without sacrificing time from one or the other?
        For me, occasionally there are conflicts, but I have key people in place to back me up. Then for my personal time I try my best to plan goals for each business and when I work it is therefore focused, not just dealing with day to day issues that arise. That said, I do get pulled into everyday issues some part of every single day!
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        • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
          To some extent, it depends on the businesses/projects. Most of what I do has a natural flow, with busy periods followed by periods spent letting the activity work (which requires the patience to let things marinate without stirring the pot too much). During those quiet times, it helps to have a second project with its own flows, both as an added income source and a distraction from the first project.

          Take, for example, an activity I've been known to post a line or two about here - article syndication.

          After posting the article to the site, there's a short wait until it gets indexed. It then goes out to my network. Once that's done, there's a down time while my publishers get a crack at publishing the article before it goes to a directory. During those waiting periods, I work on a second project.

          Or take blog posting. I don't believe in posting every day or several times a day for the things I blog about. If I put up a quality post, I want people to have time to read it, digest it, and (hopefully) share it. This is harder, IMO, when said article disappears into the archives in a few days or even a few hours.

          It may not suit the hyperactive "massive action" crowd, but it does make managing multiple projects easier and the actions do add up...
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  • Profile picture of the author evilbunnies
    The key is to manage your time properly. Personally I like to budget time on my projects based on how important or difficult they are. For example say I am working on 4 projects(1 major project, 2 small projects, and 1 hobby). I would allocate 4 hours a day to the main project, an hour each for the small projects, and 30 minutes for the hobby. Now that is just an example.

    Budgeting your time is important, but just as important is that you have clear expectations for what you need/want to accomplish each time you sit down to work.
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  • Profile picture of the author jpsween88
    The best way to focus on other ventures is by trusting yourself to teach someone to do the work for you. Why do you think the CEO of major companies are not on the front line doing work. Expenses suck, but everyone says it takes money to make money.
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  • Profile picture of the author johndetlefs
    Running a couple of businesses at once is definitely doable, but in my experience it comes down to your systems and your staff.

    First comes your systems:

    Automate everything that you can think of, and make sure that you have video (if possible) processes for everything that gets done in your business. Jing is free, and if most of your processes are done on a computer, is perfect for this.

    The rules that I follow are

    1) If it's repetitive, automate it.

    2) If it's boring but you can't automate it, try to outsource it.

    3) If you ever want to scale (or withdraw from daily operations) you absolutely have to have processes for everything. That way there is no information that lives in your head, and it will make it a lot easier to train up new staff.

    If you don't do this, then you are dependent on individual staff members, and if they disappear on you, or if their circumstances change and they have to leave, then you're back to square one, where you have to dive back in and run everything personally.

    Doesn't mean that you shouldn't take care of, and value staff members, just means that you should "Hope for the best and plan for the worst" and make sure that you have systems in place.

    There is a fantastic book that was written a long time ago by Michael Gerber called "The E Myth", and while it is a little dated, it is a fantastic primer for the sort of work that you're going to have to do if you want to run multiple businesses.

    Once you've got your systems in place, then you can start to outsource, or get staff in place.

    If you can afford the time and the money, you can get staff in earlier, and get them to create your SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) as they go along.

    I actually attached how many SOPs got created to my staffs' KPIs, and that made them appear like magic!

    So to conclude, if you want to manage multiple businesses, or even just scale one business, then systems and automation should IMO become your first priority.
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    • Profile picture of the author dvduval
      Originally Posted by johndetlefs View Post


      So to conclude, if you want to manage multiple businesses, or even just scale one business, then systems and automation should IMO become your first priority.
      Nice post. Any examples of areas that people don't think about automating that often get overlooked?
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  • Profile picture of the author johndetlefs
    The IM market is pretty mature, so most things are now either able to be bought as an all in package i.e. infusionsoft etc, or outsourced cheaply.

    It's the individual aspects of your company that often get overlooked.

    I run a training company, and we have to assess our students via a written test.

    In the past most RTOs (Registered Training Organisations) used pen and paper to deliver, assess, and give feedback, and so we invested heavily in Moodle (an LMS) and created a platform where all assessments were delivered and marked online.

    We then set up a helpdesk solution to make sure that when an assessment was submitted, it automatically raised a ticket and assigned the assessment to a trainer.

    We had to invest some money in setting all of this up, but we've now got a turnaround time of a couple of hours for assessments, which is light years ahead of any other RTO in the market, and the cost of delivering those assessments has dropped by around 60%, and we get higher student (and client) satisfaction.

    Another area where we've now saved a lot of time and money has been by moving from MYOB (an accounting system) to Xero, which is an online hosted solution that automates many tasks.

    That also gave us the freedom to outsource our book-keeping to a firm in Sydney, who do a better job than we do, and cost around $1000 a month less than our previous book-keeper.

    They also do payroll, taxes, superannuation etc, so it's been a real benefit to us.

    I'd sit down, and take a look at everything that you do each day for your business, and write it down.

    Doesn't matter if it's check emails, or access Paypal, or go to the bank, whatever.

    Write them all down, and then go through them one by one and explore the option to either eliminate, automate or outsource the task (if it can be done at a price that gives you a reasonable ROI).

    It'll take you a week to do, depending on the complexity of your business, but is well worth it!
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  • Profile picture of the author mrelk159
    Outsource, Outsource, Outsource. This is very important part of scaling your business, you can be running 10 businesses at once, if it is automated and outsourced, that is not a problem. But Obviously try to find something that fits your strengths and stick with a project if it is profitable.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    Look at your businesses like girlfriends.

    If you only had the one girlfriend then you are able to spend all your time and money on that one girl. She will be the focus of your attention and she will feel very loved.

    Now, try and split that same time and money between two different girlfriends and they are not going to feel so loved -- the results won't be nearly as powerful.

    Business is just like a needy girlfriend. The more of them you have to look after the less satisfied each of them will be.
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