Tips from a Serial Entrepreneur
The thought of over-seeing multiple businesses may seem overwhelming. If you already own one business, you know how challenging it can be to manage your employees, achieve a work-life balance, and ensure that your company is profitable. Many entrepreneurs wonder if they will have the time, energy, and organizational skills required to run a second business in addition to their core venture. However, managing multiple firms is not as crazy as it sounds. Eventually, owning several companies will increase your odds of financial security, help keep your mind sharp, and allow you to accomplish work that truly matters to you.
Carleen Greenidge is well versed in the responsibilities and benefits of running multiple businesses. Greenidge is a highly successful Logistics Entrepreneur based out of Cresco, PA. Twenty-five years after launching the first venture, Greenidge is now the proud owner of a range of thriving businesses, including Road Scholar Staffing, Yellowstone Transportation Group, Mango Capital, Speedy Dispatch Solutions, JEP Insurance Group, Greenidge Transportation Group, and Exact Accounting Solutions. Today, Greenidge shares five tips to help you let go of your fears and start launching your second, third, or fourth business venture.
1. Use one physical space
If possible, keep all your businesses under one roof. Utilizing a central location for both firms can help save money on costly resources since they are being divided between both companies. For example, you may be able to benefit from a reduced rate on rental space, fewer employee costs, and lower operational expenses. At the same time, having one location will save you time in commuting so you can structure your day for optimal effectiveness. Not only are you able to be more productive, but staff from both firms can connect more easily to cross-collaborate on projects. In some cases, your business ventures may be too different to co-exist under one roof. If this is the case, Greenidge suggests becoming accustomed to video calling apps like FaceTime or Zoom, to eliminate back-and-forth between locations.
2. Learn from your first venture
More often than not, entrepreneurs will stay within the same wheelhouse, launching companies in similar industries or focusing on expanding their core business. The advantage of starting your second company is that you have already successfully launched your first one. As a result, creating a business plan, developing marketing initiatives, and determining which selling platforms to use will be markedly easier because you already have an established blueprint that works. While your subsequent venture may not be identical to your first, you can still benchmark it against your first to help you measure your success. Finally, “you will not make the same errors that you did with your first company,” says Greenidge. Perhaps the most reassuring thing about launching another business is the lessons you have learned from your past mistakes.
3. Track your time
Keeping track of how much time you spend on each business can be a real game-changer. Time is valuable, so serial entrepreneurs need to be wary of how many hours they lock into each venture. Firstly, tracking your time allows you to get a more realistic idea of how long certain tasks take you, allowing you to structure your day more effectively. You might even notice that one venture, in particular, is draining too many resources — namely time and money — causing you to re-evaluate whether it is worth pursuing. If you are not as efficient in one business as you would like to be, and you see no improvement, Greenidge says, “learn to cut your losses and move on.” Additionally, you may find it useful to measure the amount of time you spend on leisure activities. For instance, if you are like the average American and consume 4.5 hours of TV per day, reducing your television watching could help you find enough time in your schedule for another business.
4. Build a strong team
Successful entrepreneurs do not do everything themselves. Instead, they hire a diverse team of people to help bring their vision to life. Several findings show that a cognitively diverse workforce improves innovation, can lead to improved decision making, boosts innovation, and can better deal with complex and uncertain situations. Moreover, you might even consider finding a business partner. This way, you can leverage your networks, experiences and skills to build a healthy business. You can also split up tasks and focus on one end of the business, such as sales and marketing, while your partner focuses on another. Ideally, “you want to work with people who are reliable and bring something unique to the table,” says Greenidge.
5. Bring in experts when needed
Outsource the tasks that you cannot efficiently complete yourself. Historically, out-sourcing focused on highly transactional back-office processes and non-essential activities, but now, some companies off-load entire segments of their value chain. For example, if you run a tech startup with several computer wizards, it may be feasible to outsource your marketing efforts to individuals with a flair for selling. By hiring someone more capable at one task, you can save time and money by focusing solely on the business’s core functions.
Managing multiple businesses is not easy, but it can be done. While some entrepreneurs worry they will not be able to find the time to juggle more than one company, finding the right balance takes time. By following serial entrepreneur, Carleen Greenidge’s tips, you will be able to successfully launch your next business venture without the fear of burning out.