We live in a competitive world with unemployment levels in many countries being at their lowest levels in decades. A survey by the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) indicates that worldwide, the rate of unemployment has dropped from to just over 5% today. Jobs are scarce and the constant competition to succeed is driving people into being their own bosses.
However, what do you do if you already have one business? If you have an amazing new idea do you just sit on it or is there a way that you can have your cake and eat it too? Often entrepreneurs start marinating on the idea of venturing into something bigger and better, but it is not possible to simply give up an existing business. It is a dilemma.
If this sounds at all familiar to you, rest easy. It’s not just you – restlessness in entrepreneurship is actually a good thing. It’s something that most entrepreneurs go through. However, there are some specific things you can do to ensure that you are successful.
As much as starting a second business is a good thing and a sign of better things to come, it is a very challenging task. It should not really be entertained if you’re not willing to do what it takes. In this article, we are going to look at some important points to consider when starting a second business while still running your first one.
Be Realistic With Your Time
Be realistic with your bandwidth and divide it well between your two businesses. Running a business takes lots of time. Just because you have a new interest, does not mean you can abandon your first business. As it is more established, it will definitely be taking most of your time. You should always look at strategies to grow your existing business as while your new plan might be successful, you have one that already is.
You need to sit down and work out how much time your current business takes and how much you have available for the new one. Are you so busy that all your weekends and nights are taken up by your business? If you have no time available to take on new responsibilities, you might to at least temporarily shelve your ambitions. Focus on making your first business self sustainable, one that is capable of running without demanding your oversight.
You’ll need to develop a system that divides your time between your two businesses. If you can, hire managers for the two companies so that they can run without necessarily requiring your presence. You can, for instance, set aside 2 days of the week for one company and three days for the other. This is a better approach than working on both companies every day since it enables you to give your all to each of the companies by giving both full focus.
Remember to be strict to the time you allocate for both companies. Discipline is very important in business.
Use Automation And Technology To Improve Efficiency
Online tools and SaaS software have improved efficiencies considerably. If you are not already using a CRM tool for your customer management, this should definitely be considered. There are tools available across every price point and many are free based on the size of your organization.
Through automation you can both provide a higher level of service to your customers and also project a more professional image. By ensuring that you customers get the right answer the first time, you improve their overall satisfaction level. However, more importantly by using AI and automated tools to solve common queries and issues, you free yourself and your team up for more valuable tasks, like launching your new business.
Use CRM tools with communication tools like text, chat and email to ensure that your customers are kept informed at all times about all of the different services you have available. This should be something you are already doing with your existing business but it can help you grow your new business exponentially.
Focus On Customer Service
While CRM Tools are an essential step in improving overall customer service, they are only part of the process. In an American Express survey of quality customer service, they reported some startling statistics.
- 70% of consumers are willing to pay more for the same product if they receive a higher level of service.
- 78% of consumers have canceled a transaction or service based on the customer service they have received.
- On average consumers tell 9 people of a good experience. They share details of a bad experience with almost twice as many.
If your intention is to grow both your current and future business, service needs to be a key consideration. This is what is needed to help you stand out as organic – word of mouth – growth is extremely valuable.
Divide Your Resources Well
This is also another tricky decision. Division of resources is very important when running two or more businesses. The business owner has to make sure every stakeholder and worker in both companies get what they need to perform their duties.
Starting your second business means good planning and budgeting. As with time management, stay disciplined, never go against your budget and planning.
Build Reliable Teams
Since you’ll be running two businesses, both businesses cannot have your full attention all the time. Be a leader, not a boss, so that things can run when you are not around. Once you venture into a second business, your presence in the first will reduce. Build systems rather than being the system.
Find and retain the right people that can grow with you across both businesses. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of making the employees of the first business feel less relevant after they start the second. Try and avoid this. Make them continue to feel like they are part of the team. Let them have the feeling that everything can continue even in your absence.
Strategize Well On Your Funding
Business costs for everything from office space to vehicle expenses seem to constantly be on the rise. It is critical for entrepreneurs to keep expenses in check and this is even more important when launching a new business. Utilize technology to track expenses and also provide simple and easy to use dashboards to understand spending.
Mobile tools and cloud technologies can dramatically reduce your spending in a multitude of different ways. Moving from desktop accounting software to cloud-based software ensures that IT costs for a start are lower.
Before starting your second business, plan and strategize well on the funding. If the only source of funding is your first business, save first before investing in the next. Don’t start the second business hoping to run it with proceeds from the first.
As you can see, it is possible to launch a second business while already running another one. However, to be successful it is important that you plan appropriately and take advantage of the advances in technology.
Successful businesses focus on customers first and that is a strategy you need to embrace across both of your ventures.
Author Bio: Alexa Lemzy is the content manager at TextMagic blog. She enjoys writing about mobile marketing and business development. Alexa also covers topics like small business growth, customer loyalty, and customer service.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.