Some entrepreneurs are happy to grow one business successfully and solely focus on that, building a team and scaling operations in the process. But then there are other types of entrepreneurs who have several ideas for businesses that they believe have real potential to succeed and want to keep trying new things to keep it fresh.
These are known as serial entrepreneurs and are always finding ways to manage multiple businesses efficiently for them to be considered a success.
Managing one successful business can be challenging enough, so how do these serial entrepreneurs manage several at a time? If you are wondering how to manage multiple businesses efficiently, we’ve put together some tips to help you tackle this issue so your ventures become successful.
Have knowledge in each business
Managing multiple businesses efficiently requires a lot of time and effort, so you need to have some understanding and knowledge in each one for them to be successful. If you don’t have any knowledge at all when taking on a new venture, then the time it takes to learn the new business and get to grips with it can cause your other business to suffer and potentially fail.
Having some sort of knowledge in your business ventures gives you an advantage as it allows you to make decisions quickly and know that they are the right ones for each business. If you don’t have knowledge in a particular field, it may be worth considering hiring a consultant to help you.
You could always try to gain knowledge before venturing into a new business and this will allow you to test the waters. Observe your industry peers and gain knowledge from them as this will be beneficial in setting up your new business.
Be as organized as possible
Being organized means nothing is left unattended, so if your organizational skills are not the best, you need to improve on these. You need to be as organized as possible when running one successful business, let alone multiple.
Make lists, either in a notebook if you’re more old-school or on your phone or laptop, if you prefer things to be digitalized, whatever works best for you. By doing this, you will be able to track each business’s progress and it makes it easier to share these lists with people you are working closely with.
If you are running projects for each business, a good way to stay organized and on top of everything is by using a project management system. This will allow you to have a step by step guide of what needs to be done and you can give each task a deadline.
The team working on each project will be able to update them in real-time making it easier for everyone to see and be able to access. Using a project management system will allow each business to work efficiently and will save you valuable time along the way.
Prioritize what needs doing
As with anything, prioritizing what needs doing by order of importance is key to managing multiple businesses. Focusing on the high-priority tasks of each business will allow you to give anything that is considered urgent your full attention. This will alleviate any problems or prevent them from arising in the first place.
Each day, categorize your responsibilities and work through them. Learn to separate tasks into three categories, urgent, intermediate, and secondary. You will need to get through them all, but to make the business run more efficiently you need to deal with the more important tasks first and ensure they are dealt with accordingly. If you have staff you can delegate tasks to, this will enable the business to work through all daily responsibilities.
Improve time management skills
Excellent time management skills are essential when efficiently managing multiple businesses. Not only can time management skills ensure that each task is completed to deadline, but they allow you to give sufficient attention to each business.
You will be able to determine if you are spending adequate time on each business and allow you to assess which areas of which business need improvement to allow processes and employees to be more productive.
When managing multiple businesses throughout the day, it’s recommended that you use time blocks to divide your day up so you are spending enough time on each different business. By using this time management method, you will be able to dedicate enough time to a specific task to allow you to accomplish it. Time blocks allow you to plan each aspect of your day accordingly to ensure your time is being used efficiently. You can download time blocking apps or templates to assist you.
Bring in experts for certain areas
You’re not expected to know everything when setting up a business, and when your organizations develop and continue to grow, you will need to hire the right people to help you expand on your success. Hiring staff who are experts in certain areas will allow operations to run smoothly and you will be able to delegate the tasks that you don’t have time to deal with.
As your business grows, you may feel that it is the right time to bring in some senior management like a director for each business you have to help oversee operations. This will make it easier for you to go to one person directly for regular updates, rather than having to communicate often with multiple managers. Depending on the nature of each business, you may be required to bring in teams to help with processes.
Outsource or delegate work
If you try to do everything by yourself, there will certain areas of each business that will be neglected and cracks will start to appear, possibly leading to one or more of your businesses failing. Serial entrepreneurs who are managing multiple businesses efficiently do so because they know when to delegate the workload.
You need to learn to trust your employees to do an excellent job that ensures the work is completed to a high standard. This is why it’s essential to hire the right people who you know will do their job tremendously, rather than leaving particular tasks to people who may make costly mistakes.
Outsourcing and delegating work helps free up your time and improves your time management skills, making you more organized and allowing you to focus on more important tasks. There may be times when you need to outsource work as you may not be able to do it yourself and you might not have the staff for it either.
For example, it may be best to outsource an accountant to manage the books for you, or if you don’t have a marketing team you can use a marketing agency.
Don’t stress over minor issues
In any type of business, there will always be things to worry about that in the grand scheme of things, are not that important. What is important, is how you handle these minor issues or setbacks and not let it affect any aspect of the business.
Try to stay positive and keep looking forward so you don’t waste too much time stressing over the small things. Time spent worrying over minor issues will take away valuable time that could be spent working through your daily responsibilities.
If problems do arise, ensure you have backup plans in place to be able to manage them. If the problem is with a customer or client, take any feedback that they provide to you onboard, and apply it where necessary. It’s important when managing multiple businesses to be able to take feedback well, as it could improve some of the processes you have in place.
Always try to focus on the positives, and know that if an issue occurs within one of your businesses, that it may happen in another and you will be able to deal with it immediately.
Run each business from the same location
If you are working with the same people for each of the businesses, you may want to consider running each one from the same location and setting up a headquarters. By having one location for all of your business ventures, you will be on hand to deal with any queries and it will make things much easier for you to oversee each organization.
Having a headquarters to operate from will allow you to monitor things easily. It’s a good way to save on resources too, as you won’t need multiple offices to work from.
If you have regular meetings with staff, you will save on costs as it eliminates the need for travel expenses and it allows you and your employees to be more productive and get more tasks done in a day rather than spending it traveling. Plus having one central location allows you to have different employees working on multiple projects across each business.
Analyze each business separately
It’s important to know how each business is doing when you are managing several at once, which is why you should analyze them separately. By doing this, you will be able to see which areas of each business are performing well and which aspects need improving, allowing you to give more attention to one business as and when it’s needed.
You could keep monthly reports about what each team is doing, what you are doing, and how it affecting the businesses.
There are tools you can use to make this more efficient or you can outsource this and have someone pull together the reports for you. Without analyzing your businesses, you won’t know what is working well and you will continue to operate without making the necessary changes. It’s going to benefit your businesses in the long run, and by making changes where they are required, you will be able to stay on track to meet your targets and this will allow your organizations to thrive.
Be realistic with your expectations
While it is good to always set your business’s goals to work towards, try to keep these as realistic as you can. You don’t want to be taking on more than you can manage or overworking your staff to meet unrealistic expectations. It’s always a possibility that one of your businesses may not be as successful as you hoped it would be and may even fail. This is something you need to plan for. For each of your businesses, ensure you have a contingency plan in place for when the unexpected happens.
This will allow you to prepare on some level for worst-case scenarios and should they unfold, you can follow the plan and adapt the business processes as best you can. It’s important to have both types of plans for your business, from when it is successful and you need to work out where to go from there, and for when it’s starting to fail and you need a plan of how to save the business.
Having these for each of your businesses will allow you to manage them efficiently and be ready for whatever comes your way.
As a serial entrepreneur, having an array of business ideas is a good way to try new things and when you have one successful business, it is encouraging to set up another. You have to be dedicated and willing to put the required amount of time and effort into each business venture if you want to carry the success over.
The tips outlined in this post can help you manage multiple businesses efficiently but that’s not to say there won’t be challenges you face along the way. Every entrepreneur will encounter obstacles on their journey to success, it’s about how you handle these obstacles and find ways to get around them that keep your business moving forward.
If you are up for the challenge of managing multiple businesses, remember that it is a big responsibility and can be daunting at times. Make use of the people around you who can make the process a lot simpler, have realistic expectations for each of your businesses, and try to stay on top of where each of the businesses is at.