I run several businesses and I have run them very poorly. But, I have also run them successfully. When I started as an entrepreneur, I had one restaurant, now I have two restaurants and am an online presence where I coach, write and speak. When you grow across multiple platforms, you have to change how you operate as an owner.
If you are a small company you can micromanage, be unorganized and lack focus and still survive maybe even thrive to a degree. However, the larger your business grows, the more these flaws will be seen. When I started to expand my little empire, there was a period where expansion almost ruined me I had to change and I knew it. My flaws of lack of focus and micro-managing almost undid what I built.
These tips will help you run multiple businesses.
1. Note pad.
I know that there are cool apps like Evernote the help in writing lists, but for me, nothing replaces pen and paper. Something in handwriting helps me to remember, and I love crossing things off or tearing off a sheet of paper and throwing it in the fire. Notes are necessary for multiple reasons, the king of which is focus. When working on one business have a notepad always by you. When other projects or businesses pop into your mind write it down and refocus on your current plan to be effective. Focus and intensity are required to have momentum and with more than one business you can lose momentum which is the lifeblood of business. When your mind wants to go elsewhere, write it down and refocus on what your working on now. Notepads will help you to stay organized and focused.
2. Physical locations.
I work on each restaurant in each site and my other businesses from a private office. Different areas help my memory. I thought this was strange and then watched this video by Lewis Howes and Jim Kwik. We remember by location much better due to microevolution. Get in the habit of working on businesses in different places even if it’s on the computer at various parts of your house. Locations defined for business will help you to maintain boundaries mentally and recall when you need to.
The larger you get, the more you need to spend most of your time managing and developing a team. The only way to run multiple things is to have a solid team. Your team will be the frontline of your business. Treat your team with the passion, energy and focus like your business depends on it because it does. Work with a team to build and multiply your time and energy.
Know what numbers matter to your business and have reports done at the minimum weekly. Measurement improves performance and reports are your measurement showing improvement or drop-off within the business. In my pizza parlors, I have reports done weekly showing gross and net sales, customer counts, food cost, labor, and out-the-door averages. All these numbers will help or hurt my business and can make a significant impact fast. Get reports on the numbers that matter your business’s to maintain control.
Extreme focus is required to build multiple companies that are thriving. Build one business at a time until you get a solid team in place, then you will have the bandwidth to work on your next business. With focus and energy, you can build an entrepreneurial empire. Focus on one business at a time, form a team and know your numbers.