In a small town, you may need several lines of income to survive. So, sometimes, people try to start multiple businesses all at once. That’s a mistake, and to see why, let’s take a look at farming.
Farmers take their time in adding any new crop. That new crop will take acres away from the existing crops, so it needs to be worth the effort. If the crop requires buying specialized equipment, that has to be factored in. Then there is the learning curve. Any new crop will take some time for the farmer to get a feel for it, to know the potential problems and the issues of timing.
It’s a smart lesson. Take your time in adding new lines of business. Let each one get well-established before you move on to adding another one. It will take time away from your existing lines, so it needs to be worth it. If it takes new equipment or training, factor that in. Give yourself time to learn the feel of the new business, to know when it’s vulnerable, when it’s strong. Learn the seasons and cycles of your new business, before you start thinking about adding another one.
My Small Town Rules co-author Barry Moltz shared some of this in Rule #3: diversifying your risk.
If this makes sense to you, you might like a sample of our book Small Town Rules.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.