If you continuously come up with inventive ideas and create new businesses then you’d likely be considered a serial entrepreneur. But owning and managing distinctively different companies comes with its own set of unique challenges.
The balancing act of juggling multiple priorities is an art and a science. However, if you’re ready to launch your second or third venture, we’ve asked ten serial entrepreneurs to share their recommendations on how to balance it all.
1. Manage your time.
The key to doing more than one thing is excellent time management and good delegation. I also accept that not everything can be perfect and may be a work in progress.
2. Have one office.
Have multiple fronts, and one ‘back office’. As a consumer facing operation, we have two companies, but centralize everything into one back office. From credit card processing, to customer support, everything not visibly seen by the customer is run by the same engine. This allows us to achieve scale faster and keep costs low.
3. Ask for advice.
Look for support from other entrepreneurs. It’s so easy to lose confidence in yourself when you run ideas by people who fear risk or can’t relate to entrepreneurs. They’re likely to drag you down and keep you from exploring more opportunities because the fear of failure creeps in. Communing with others like you helps keep the energy high and the synergy going.
Focus on what you do best and hire teams for your companies that do what you can’t do.
5. Accept help if necessary.
Drop your ego at the door. You have to rely on experts you bring in and colleagues in the industry. By all means as entrepreneurs, you should stretch the limits of what is out there to become successful but you can only reach your goal by accepting the input of others that bring their expertise to the table. Yes, you can oversee final decisions, but if you are building a widget that needs an engineer’s eye, trust them on what makes it work.
6. Keep it simple.
When running more than one business, it’s important to try to simplify the day to day administrative tasks of running multiple businesses. The simple tasks from paying your monthly bills and managing numerous staff and products or services to conducting a weekly management meeting can quickly take over the bulk of one’s time versus the bigger picture needs of a company – to grow. By creating systems and processes, as well as outsourcing as many tasks as possible, it will allow a business owner to focus more time on creating new products, services, customers and revenue for each business.
7. Just do it.
All too often I hear people talk about all the businesses they want to start but they can’t since they are already doing x, y and z. Starting and running multiple companies at once has given me the opportunity to learn twice as much in the same amount of time. Face the issues now and learn from your mistakes, the average entrepreneur starts 11 businesses. You’re going to make mistakes, it’s not a bad thing but the faster you can discover or overcome them the better off you’ll be.
Your original idea is was outside the box, innovative and groundbreaking. Fantastic. Your next job is to figure out how to streamline your business process for that idea into a workable, easy to duplicate model so that the next big idea can be carried out with minimal added time and effort.
9. Stay positive.
The best advice I can give to any serial entrepreneur is to always stay positive and keep your end goal in mind. Every single day will bring road blocks and challenges, but if you always maintain a positive mindset and remember the reasons you are involved and passionate about a project, those challenges will be only small stepping stones for you to learn from and use for your next ventures. Stay confident about accomplishing your dreams and keep a firm eye on the end result.
10. Maintain your vision.
Juggling multiple companies involves having a clear vision of where all your companies are headed and how they will get there. Empower your team to help you reach this vision, and hold others accountable to know their part and make it happen. Make sure you and your team are doing the right things at the right time.