How To Manage More Than One Business
This is an article “How To Manage More Than One Business” by Marc Primo
Managing multiple businesses presents a double-edged sword that can either present more profit sources or waste precious time and money while trying to grow. As most entrepreneurs would have it, multitasking is a way of life and not earning from the things you can do is considered a huge mistake.
We all know that expansion combined with a focused sense of interest is why many of today's most successful moguls thrive in handling multiple brands, products, and enterprises. Elon Musk has Tesla Motors, SpaceX, and The Boring Company, while Mark Zuckerberg heads Meta and its umbrella brands Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Oculus VR. Then there's also Jeff Bezos, who leads Blue Origin and Amazon and its investments in its subsidiaries, including Whole Foods, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Ring, and Twitch.
But what are their shared secrets to success?
These so-called serial entrepreneurs are well-versed in every aspect of running a business, such as operations, legal matters, and taxes. However, average business owners can still learn a few excellent lessons from how these entrepreneurs make each business grow separately or as a whole.
If you are planning to expand your ventures to multiple industries, here are some tips that can help you thrive steadily:
Operating businesses separately
Before you decide whether to operate two or more businesses as a conglomerate or separately, you'll first have to review your business goals and the legalities that will prevent you from encountering conflicts of interest.
For example, an entrepreneur plans to integrate his e-Commerce platform with his digital marketing consultancy. That may be a good idea at first glance, but selling products while providing expertise and technical services under one brand can sometimes backfire. It may seem like you merely serve two purposes of self-interest instead of focusing on the client's needs.
Of course, such an issue will depend on how you conduct or operate the business, but the best way to approach such a business model is to manage the two services separately. In terms of marketing your brands, you'll have better chances of establishing them in their respective niche markets than integrating and selling to random audiences.
Keep business goals, funding, and taxes apart
Another good thing that can come out of separating your businesses is finding the right investors to come in and fund your operations. Drawing a clear line that illustrates your business goals is more enticing to your investors than confusing them with a 'two birds with one stone' approach.
Operating separate entities makes it easier for you to comply with certain legalities for better liability protection. It also spares the other company when one encounters legal issues as both are separately registered enterprises.
For example, some companies opt for an entirely separate entity for real property assets in their business operations. Business taxes are independent of real estate tax matters as both have different tax years and may apply different tax methods. In short, corporate buildings operating under LLCs can lease office spaces without involving their business operations in tax payments.
Manage your time proactively
Handling multiple business ventures requires masterful management skills, including how you set your daily schedules according to priorities. We all get 24 hours in a day and while it may seem like that's not enough time to manage one business, possessing good foresight and efficient time management methods could spell the difference when overseeing two or more.
One practice that could help you spread your time more efficiently is the Eisenhower Matrix wherein you list down the day's tasks and rank them according to importance or deadlines. Mastering this method can help you delegate other functions to competent staff or use software to automate various items on your to-do list, such as analyzing big data in budgets, business models, or campaign performances among others.
Given this, it's always a good idea to keep all of your essential files stored in the cloud so you can access them whenever and wherever you are. In fact, one survey shows that 95% of businesses are already migrating to multi-cloud services with 80% reporting upticks on their performances within months.
Being aware of the most pressing matters and knowing who to turn to to get the job done will significantly cut down the required time you need to spend on a task. Most importantly, apply the Deep Work technique and focus on important matters one at a time while refraining from being distracted by all the figures, insights, or needs that float around.
Get the right help in and out
Before you jump into a second business venture, you might need to consider getting help from other qualified business partners to run the show. While sole proprietorship on multiple businesses is possible, having other members of your team carry some of the load will give you more leverage to handle the physical and mental rigors of the job.
Another option is to seek a second venture that can operate independently to reduce your other daily requirements in your overseeing duties. Businesses such as property rental, affiliate marketing, or freelance selling are some excellent ideas that require minimal supervision.
Of course, you would still have to manage these other businesses and align them with your business goals. However, operating them is just a matter of hiring the right people and being able to make the right decisions on the fly.
Keeping your office spaces close to each other both off and online will also get you more involved in daily critical matters that may arise. This way, you are in a better position to switch between two operations without having to worry about wasted time on commuting.
Another essential when getting help for a second venture is looking for the right legal and accounting team to handle your affairs and compliances, especially if you opt for separate LLCs, corporations, or 'doing business as' entities. Doing so will ensure that your businesses are protected legally and financially from one another.
Yes, it may cost you more and entail a lot more paperwork than you'd like, but handling multiple businesses can be more cost-efficient and less complex than opting for the more common holding company alternative.