On the SBBuzz chat this week, we talked about managing multiple businesses. Some great points came out.
I was reminded of this old, old business card I found. It lists more businesses than you can make sense out of! This guy is buying and selling and trading, and running a restaurant, motel and club…. How can we be smart in managing our own multiple businesses? Here’s what we came up with in the chat.
sbbuzz: How do we integrate disparate businesses/interests into a manageable effort?
Perspective one: Cut down and focus
lindadessau: In my case, I’ve had to sometimes put one thing down for awhile to focus my efforts and get some momentum. View Tweet
lindadessau: Also I’ve had to be really clear with my marketing – which hat do I wear in which setting, etc. View Tweet
Timberry: There’s a lot to be said for cutting the disparate lines and focusing on doing better in the most promising. As an option, maybe. View Tweet
r: Chasing too many opportunities can prove costly. View Tweet
Perspective Two: Find common themes or consolidate
ginabee: I think of it as a tangle of yarn and if I just pull the right one in the right direction, it will all straighten out and be cohesive View Tweet [This is my favorite! -Becky]
scoblitz: I’m working on consolidating the similar for now, looking for bigger impact opportunities. Disparate will have to wait. View Tweet
bradfordshimp: For me, it starts by bringing things under one brand, one roof so to speak. View Tweet
bradfordshimp: Working on doing this with my blog and my design/marketing work. Started w/ the blog, but now want it to offshoot from biz. View Tweet
BeckyMcCray: I specifically looked for common themes, areas of overlap. It started to make sense when I thought of the right theme. View Tweet
BeckyMcCray: I did a lot of noodling around on the ideas before I found the central theme. View Tweet
BeckyMcCray: My theme: Small Town Specialist. That pulls together my consulting with small town govs, my blog at Small Biz Survival, etc. View Tweet
Perspective Three: Manage your time
selahsynergy: Blocking out time on my schedule 4 priorities.Plan. Delegate, Dump, Outsource. Always re-assessing time. View Tweet
rogersanchez: The priorities define the schedule, it’s a walk, not a race. But when it is a race, coffee is awesome! View Tweet
nrohrbach: I wrote a blog post on @ideaanglers http://bit.ly/96MHYI and I put those same concepts to work 4 week/month/qtr/yearly time mgmt View Tweet
Perspective Four: Build a portfolio
BeckyMcCray: “A portfolio of profit centers”: see @joblessmuse‘s post today: http://is.gd/77wIh View Tweet
What works for you?
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Linda Dessau says
Thanks for the mention, Becky! That was a great discussion this week.
invoice factoring blog says
Wouldn’t it depend on the size of their organization? Any by definition, anyone in “small business survival” mode does not have a large organization at their disposal :-)
One of the things that separate small businesses from large businesses is quick access expertise. I like to think so at least.
With a small business you are more likely to deal with an owner or someone close to them. Someone that knows their stuff and it’s a decision maker. With a large business, you need to jump through hoops (usually) to reach a person that actually knows enough to solve your problem. Don’t take my word – got to your local “big box” store and ask and associate for advice on a product. Then walk to a small “family owned” store and do the same.
I like to think that small businesses sell easy access to an expert – an owner or an employee with quick access to the owner.
So, in how many different industries can a person be an expert on? One is hard enough. Two is darn impressive. Three… well, I’d be impressed about this.
Becky McCray says
Marco, it’s not always about multiple industries. In my case, it’s several lines of business, all relating to small town business and government. The businesses span agriculture (our cattle ranch), retail (our liquor store), service (grant writing and project management), media (this site) and technology (Tourism Currents). I realize that I’m nuts, but it’s also a reflection of small town realities: no one of the businesses can provide my complete income, given my geography. And is it not wise to have multiple income streams? A diversified portfolio, as it were?
Here’s the secret no one tells you: the same management and communication skills underlie all of these.
DJ Sartin says
Two small towns in my area that have businesses marketing multiple lines of products/services. One, a family has a pawn shop inside one end of long building and a computer shop at other end. They also have contract for people to pay utility bills there plus a contract with a payday loan company.
Second business, in Miller, the local True Value hardware also markets animal feed/straw, etc plus buy and sell gold/silver, coins, etc.
These businesses both have their multiple types of businesses in just one building, rather than separate locations for each business.
Very interesting discussion and ideas here.
in africa here, we are conditioned to being an employee, rather than create opportunities, even in the face of vast ones. Wat lead me to your comment was my thought on possibilities to be able to manage more than one business and eventual Google search on the subject. I intend to start from my town as a launching pad. And God help me, expand my lines into the major cities. ‘Good Job McCray!’in africa here, we are conditioned to being an employee, rather than create opportunities, even in the face of vast ones. Wat lead me to your comment was my thought on possibilities to be able to manage more than one business and eventual Google search on the subject. I intend to start from my town as a launching pad. And God help me, expand my lines into the major cities. ‘Good Job McCray!’