Some warnings on serial entrepreneurship
Starting lots of businesses is every bit as exciting as indicated. That being said, you need to keep in mind that there are risks, disappointments and stressors. Here are a few disclaimers:
- Beware when starting any business. To be an entrepreneur is to take risk. To live life in general is to have risk.
- You don’t have to break up with your old business. When you start a business, you become deeply invested in its success and future. When you start a new company, you aren’t neglecting the old one. You can still run it, coach it, advise it and profit from it.
- Take a break between businesses.
Other tips you can consider:
- Use the same physical space to run both places – Having a central location for both businesses saves on resources since they’re shared between the companies. It also allows you to be easily involved in both ventures, including meetings and on-site needs.
- Bring the two businesses together as much as possible across processes.
- Prioritize what needs your attention —It’s a matter of getting organized, delegating and prioritizing what needs attention, rather than just talking about it
- Try not to sweat the small stuff.
- Make lots of lists and follow them.
- Keep reports on each business to gauge results and maintain accountability.
- Work with your co-founders and team to help balance the workload of running multiple businesses.
- Track time spent on each business to determine if you are balancing both effectively rather than spending more time unknowingly on one over the other. This also helps you understand if there are any places where you can improve your productivity across both businesses.
Since you cannot be everywhere doing everything, work with co-founders at both companies who are intimately involved in the daily operations. Before adding partners or anyone else that has this much ownership of the business, check to see if you are on the same page in terms of philosophy, what you want to accomplish and overall vision. Knowing you have someone who thinks and feels similarly can help make having multiple businesses that much easier.
You can also split up tasks and focus on one end of the business, while your partner focuses on the other. Generally, you want to partner with someone who you can trust and has something unique to bring to the table. The partnership should benefit both sides and you can save time and money by working with someone else without sacrificing a successful business.
Running multiple businesses is not for the faint of heart, and while it is not for everyone, it can be done. Just be sure to think through the above recommendations before tackling this challenge. Consider how you work as part of the dynamic before you take on two companies (or more) at once. It’s certainly never boring!
The more businesses you start, the better you get. Launching a single business is only the start of a promising and successful future as a serial entrepreneur. If you’ve started one business, good for you. Now, go and do it again.