How to Start a Second Business (While Still Running Your First)
I never thought I’d end up here. After launching my content marketing agency in 2006, struggling, and then finally finding my equilibrium with it, I started a second business this year.
Yeah. I’m kinda crazy.
My second business is nothing like the first: I run creative classes in my neighborhood at local venues. So, by day, I’m writing about business and marketing; by night, I’m renting chairs and tables, and teaching people how to create succulent arrangements.
While it’s still early in my journey, I’m realizing that starting a second business alongside a first requires a very specific strategy. If you’re brave enough to go along this path with me with your own endeavors, I hope these lessons learned will help you.
1. Roll slower than you want to
Just recently, a commercial space opened up across the street from my house. At a great price. Though I’d planned on this new business being a mobile business for a year or so, I suddenly plunged into researching business insurance and how many classes I’d have to offer to pay my overhead. I got a little carried away.
But then I woke up one morning and realized that biting this off was certainly more than I could chew just three months in. So I backed away from the opportunity and refocused on growing the business under its existing model.
If you’re like me, you’re a “go-get-’em” kind of entrepreneur, and when an opportunity lands in your lap, you may be inclined to take it. But you have to understand that nothing is the same the second time around. You have your first business to sustain (and sustain you financially). You need to continue to have the time and energy to dedicate to it being successful. And sometimes that means moving more slowly than you’d like.
2. Think carefully before taking on a partner
Last month, I shared how trying to partner with a friend failed abysmally. I’m certainly not suggesting that you can’t or shouldn’t have a business partner, but I do urge you to consider what your business would look like if you have half as much control over how things are run as you would if you ran it solo.
For entrepreneurs who have already been working solo for years, I think it’s harder to suddenly have someone else to have to collaborate with. For me, the shift was too great.
If you already have a business partner and are considering working with the same partner on your new business, there are, of course, pros and cons. A perk is you already know that the two of you work well together. But if your business is in an entirely different industry, you might do better to partner with someone more knowledgeable about that space.
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3. Carve out time to work on your new business
My …read more
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