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Going to start two businesses at the same time? Entrepreneurs usually abound in ideas they can offer to the market. Often you will see those with an entrepreneurial spirit starting multiple businesses back to back. When you talk to them – they even have ideas for other money-making ventures.
But is being a multi-passionate entrepreneur a blessing or a curse?
Opinions vary widely. So today we will take a look at all three opinions – yes, no, and it depends and find out which one is correct for you.
Should I Start Two Businesses at the Same Time? (Podcast Outline)
- Common advice
- No. You need to focus to make it work.
- It depends – get clear on your goals and decide which business is the main business.
- Yes – but not at the same time.
- How a startup really looks – example of a lawn care company
- Mowing lawns is the focus so you start working with customers you have or know.
- Taking payments and working with customer issues starts to creep into your time.
- The need to start finding new customers – so marketing becomes a big issue
- Taking calls (from marketing) stops work. (The plumber under your sink is taking a sales call)
- Equipment issues creep in. Operational maintenance.
- Business issues hit at the end of the month (doing the books) and the end of the year.
- You realize you need more structure.
- Where to keep records
- How to track customers
- How to track when customers last bought from you.
- Dealing with customers who do not pay on time
- You need help and need to hire.
- Now you add in insurance
- Need management structure.
- Training becomes an issue. They need to do the job the same way you do it
- More equipment is needed for 2 people.
- In short – every business needs operations, marketing, finance, and research. A lot of roles.
- What happens in business two – Example of online sales of workout equipment
- Store management
- Other customers
- Expanding issues of management
- So why do people say NO – do not start two businesses at once?
- Starting 2 things is like taking two jobs where you need to learn a lot and excel.
- Startups take focus and energy.
- The two companies often start to diverge in the kind of things you have to do and think about.
- Becomes unmanageable quickly.
- Usually leads to two failures or two mediocre results.
- Why “it depends”?
- Focus on long term goals and the two might fit
- Finding synergy could work.
- Lawn care company that does training for other lawn care companies
- Lawn care company that sells lawn care supplies
- Both have similar customers and similar equipment needs.
- Why the yes?
- This usually applies to serial entrepreneurs – people who start one then once it gets going start another.
- Serial entrepreneurs are almost a given. Once you start – it’s in your blood.
- My view about starting two businesses at once?
- Get clear on your goals.
- Who do you want to serve?
- How do you want to help them?
- What is a success? Where do you want to get to?
- Number of customers
- Quitting your day job
- Which business will get you there the fastest without debt?
- Pick that business and move toward your goal.
- Use a second business that is a spinoff of the first – related but different
- Lawn care > lawn care product sales
- Software development > software-based product
- Consulting or contracting > Training and teaching others how
- Get clear on your goals.
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Links mentioned in this episode:
- Discussion on Startups.com
- Why You Should Never Start Just One Business by Neil Patel
- Maria Forleo on the multi-passionate entrepreneur
- Past Episodes related to side hustles
- Episode 119: Developing an Entrepreneurial Mindset
- Master of Engineering Management in Information Engineering and Management
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