Think running one business is challenging enough? Try managing several.
Many naysayers will tell you that running multiple businesses at once is impossible. But successful serial entrepreneurs will argue otherwise. After all, owning multiple businesses improves your odds of financial security and somehow keeps your mind sharp. Plus, you get to experience the best of each industry.
Starting and running multiple businesses is tough, but it’s doable. Your success will ultimately depend on your ability to divide your time, prioritize tasks, and maintain a work-life balance.
With that, we’ve compiled seven practical tips to help you overcome the struggles of managing multiple businesses:
1. Learn more about each business as much as possible
Knowledge is power. If you’re planning to do something new, you have to learn the ropes for you to become successful at it. The same goes for starting another business. For instance, if you’re running a financing company and planning to start a money transfer company to expand your operations, you need to know the policies. Or, if you’re looking to go into stocks, find out more about stock broker promotions, prices, and trends. Regardless of what industry you’re going into, knowing more about it will make it easier for you to make major business decisions.
Before venturing into another business, take your time to learn more about the industry first. Find out how established companies achieved success and what strategies they used. Do your research. Read books or talk to people who have been in the business for a long time. Ask for tips and advice. The knowledge you collect from your efforts will make you more productive as you launch your other businesses off the ground.
2. Have a central location to run all businesses
If you ask any serial entrepreneur about how to be efficient in running multiple businesses, one of the things they’d probably tell you is to invest in one physical space to work in. Having a central location allows you to be present for each of your businesses. You can entertain any concerns or on-site needs and attend different meetings without having to go back and forth from one place to another.
Investing in a headquarter helps you get more things done. Plus, it brings all of your staff together, allowing more collaborations. This will help you save on resources and maximize your business’ efficiency and productivity at the same time.
3. Create a schedule and stick to it
One of the most critical aspects of owning multiple businesses is time management. When you’re running several businesses at once, many things will call for your attention, and you will have several urgent tasks to complete. While it can be tempting to do all these things yourself, in reality, it’s just not possible. If you want to make it work, you have to create a schedule that will allow you to maximize your time. Luckily, some tools make scheduling much easier for entrepreneurs.
Google Calendar, for one, integrates well with several applications. If one of your investors scheduled a meeting via email, it would automatically sync to Google Calendar, so you won’t have to worry about missing appointments again. You can also color-code your calendar according to importance or category to avoid confusion.
4. Groom a candidate to take over the operations
While giving up control over a company you built from scratch may sound daunting, you’ll eventually have to do it. As you go from one business to another, you’ll have to relieve yourself of some duties and pass on the responsibility to a qualified team member so that you can accommodate new ones.
With that, you need someone who can take on the job. Pay attention to your people and take note of those who go above and beyond to contribute to the business’ success. You would also need them to be a people person since they will have to build networks and lead an entire company.
Be sure to communicate your goals with the company early on to avoid surprises and resistance in the future. Once you’ve picked the right person, have them shadow you and groom them to take over the company. Give them ample time to adjust, so when it’s time to pass the baton, they’ll be able to transition smoothly.
5. Delegate tasks
It’s safe to say that as CEO, you’ll be the one to handle all corporate decisions and the primary source of contact. You’ll have many things on your plate, and more if you’re running several businesses. Early in the business, you have to accept that as much as you want to take care of things yourself, it’s virtually impossible without burning yourself out.
If you want to see your businesses succeed, you need to delegate tasks. This means considering hiring in-house employees or outsourcing the talents you need. When it comes to recruiting, look for employees with the quality and skills that your company needs. Once you have your dream team, establish work processes so each of them knows what their responsibilities are and what’s expected of them.
6. Don’t forget to take care of yourself
Finally, running a business can be taxing. Regardless of how perfect your systems are or how good you are at prioritizing or sticking to a schedule, the probability of burnout is still high. To avoid that, squeezing a “me-time” or downtime in between your hectic schedule is a must.
As much as possible, give yourself a couple of hours to yourself each night. Set a specific time to stop working. Recharge by getting enough sleep. by During weekends, work a couple of hours, but make sure to leave some time to enjoy the things you like. Let yourself recharge, so you’ll be ready to face another week juggling your businesses.
Most importantly, work out when you can and eat right. Whether it’s in the early morning or the evening after work hours, try to put some active time in and pair it up with a healthy meal throughout the day. It will help control stress, improve your mental health, increase your energy levels, and make you a happier person overall. With that, you’ll be a better leader for your company.
Managing multiple businesses at once may seem impossible at first. However, as you navigate through the uncharted waters, you’ll soon get a grip and have all your companies in sync with each other. Keep the tips mentioned above in mind if you find yourself struggling. Strive to improve and never overlook the importance of looking after yourself as it’s the only way you can make better decisions that will help you see your companies succeed.