More than one business idea? Seven tips for not going crazy

Being the owner of one company is a daunting task in itself, but being the owner of two or more businesses? That requires the strength of time management and balance.

As a startup or small business owner, you may find at times (probably more often than not) that you are, well, lacking funds. At this time, you seek other revenue stream channels to help you survive until your passion turns into profit. After all, to be a creative entrepreneur you need between five to seven residual incomes to prepare yourself in time for retirement. Or you could be like me, who has several big business ideas that need to be launched in the world. No matter your reason, financial or idea creator, how do you juggle managing all your businesses at once?

For those of you in the idea phase of being a serial entrepreneur, try these exercises. First, grab a folder and get organized—lay out your business idea on paper. What will it take from start to finish for your business to be successful?

Before you rush in, research your idea. See if there is something similar on the market. Never be afraid of competition, but be realistic. Know what you can contribute and if you can successfully compete.

Consider a partnership with another company that has a similar idea, product, or service.

Produce your projects. Strap on your producer hat. Create a project proposal for each business: include the scope of the work, an estimated time frame, and the cost to produce and execute your product or service. Compare and contrast your projects. Sort them by time frame and revenue streams to see which one will take the shortest time and less money to begin with a financial gain.

For those of you who are like me and couldn’t resist transforming ideas into businesses, here are some tips to make life a little easier:

1. Merge your ideas. Find a way to merge your businesses. How can you incorporate your businesses under one umbrella and have it still make sense? If you can do this, this will save you time and money.

2. Prioritize your time. Limit meetings and to-do lists that require a huge block of your time. Hire professionals and/or freelancers to help with assignments that do not need your hands-on attention. Divide yourself between businesses by day, every other day, or by week, based on demand.

3. Get organized. From day-to-day, each business, like children, will require little or more attention than the next. Give it your undivided attention when it needs you, and move forward with the next task. Put a system in place with your staff that lets everyone know who is doing what. Use different apps and software to make email management, meetings, and to-do lists efficient.

4. Choose your home base. As a startup small business, you might be able to save money on rent by working remotely. If you need office space to conduct your business, that’s when you might consider a co-working space. Being in charge of multiple businesses, staff, and projects, you never know where your day may take you. Be ready to go!

5. Train your staff. Plain and simple, your businesses are only as good as your employees. Teach them how you want your business to run. Educate. Listen. Receive feedback.

6. Share your schedule. You are important. Don’t disappear for hours at a time, so that no one can find you. Share your calendar. Share your to-do list. Share your goals. Involve and include your team. This will save you and your teammates from doing duplicate work. Also, it is important to keep your team included in your vision for your companies, so they know how to contribute and grow.

7. Start early. Ladies, you have the same amount of time in a day as Beyoncé. Gents, you have the same time as Bill Gates. No excuses. If you find yourself running out of time, reevaluate what you are doing with your time. Are you cruising social network and dating sites too much? Whatever your guilty pleasure is, save it for later—it will still be there. Or wake up earlier to get started. I love sleep just as much as the next 16-year-old, but you know what they say: creative entrepreneurs dream, but they don’t sleep.

Photo credit: Glen Forde/Creative Sustainability

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