src=”https://buffer.com/resources/content/images/2022/05/geio-tischler-6ssLdDxgvFw-unsplash.jpg” alt=”I Run 3 Small Businesses–Here’s How I Do It All Without Compromising My Life”>
Many entrepreneurs and small-business owners are used to people not understanding your business and what it is all about. Your friends ask you, “How can you make money doing this?” You answer back, “Why not just get a real job?”
This is because I own three small businesses, Gratiam Consulting, a boutique accounting firm, and The Empowered CPA content creation company. I also run GLAMbar, a blow dry bar. When my consulting business is so successful that I have to turn away clients, I receive questions from both friends and business owners. They ask, “Are you wasting money?” It would be simpler to concentrate on one business.
It might be simpler, but it wouldn’t change the way I live my professional life. My businesses allow me to make a bigger impact on people by helping them in various capacities. It keeps me motivated to work on different types of projects. I love that there are no two days ever the same. It also makes my job more satisfying because I have an impact on so many people at different stages in their lives. It’s a great feeling to know that I have taken an industry that was very rigid and made it my own.
This structure is not without its difficulties, especially as I am not an entrepreneur who can work 80 hours per week. It was for the sake of my family, my mental health and my personal well-being that I quit corporate life. It is important to keep space for everyone, even when you run three businesses.
There are many entrepreneurs out there who are passionate about business and have multiple ideas. They are also determined to find a way for them to work together. Here are some strategies that I have used to keep my three businesses afloat (and growing): Without compromising the things that I cherish in my life.
I Cared About My Business Portfolio
Let me start by saying that the mixture of different business types I have and what each requires of me is part of my success.
First, I didn’t start three businesses. Instead, I focused on my consulting business for several years. It was stable and had new clients coming in 100% through referrals. I also had a waitlist. Before I moved to another company. It would have been difficult to manage business development for three different ventures simultaneously.
Also, I thought about how much each business would require of me from week to week. My consulting practice is a client service business that is highly regulated and deadline-driven. It requires me to be very attentive and flexible with my time. I would burn out if I tried to take on another business that has similar needs. My content creation business gives me a lot more flexibility than I have with other businesses. In the same way, I also have a partner in my blow dryer bar. This means that all of the responsibility isn’t mine.
It is a constant reminder to me that saying no to some things means saying yes to others.
Unfortunately, the universe doesn’t allow you to add more hours to your work day by adding another business. Instead, I must remind myself to not take on too much and to make hard decisions about which tasks I will cut.
When I founded my digital content company, I knew I would need to work five to six hours per day to create the content. To do this without having to sacrifice my family, personal time or sleep, I would have to work from another place. I had to make the difficult decision not to take on new clients as a consultant. This meant I had to give up some money, but it was worth it for me to be able help more people with digital content and build a passive income stream without having to work too hard.
You need to be honest about your time commitments when you are considering multiple businesses. This is true not only for yourself but also for anyone who depends on you (e.g spouse, business partner). You need to understand what you are able and willing to offer the business, and what may need to be changed to make it possible.
I make a plan (with plenty of padding for when the plan goes wrong)
As it should be obvious, time management is key to all this. Every week I take a moment to look at the tasks ahead of me and prioritize them from the most important to the least.
They are very important to me so I make sure that I have enough time for them. I plan out meals, time with the children, and time at work. Next, I will check to see if there are tax deadlines for my consulting clients. I will also make sure I have time for accounting deadlines for the blow dryer bar. Finally, I’ll plan the work hours. I will also check how much time is left for more flexible tasks, such as developing my digital courses.
As every business owner knows the worst laid plans don’t always work out as planned. With the understanding that things might go wrong, I make sure to add plenty of padding. My consulting clients plan far in advance with me and I set deadlines well before federal due dates. In an emergency, I try to have at least a few things on my plate that I can shift if necessary.
I swear by systems and delegation
My time management principles also include setting up systems that will reduce the amount I do in the future, and delegating any work I don’t need.
I have found that creating an onboarding guide for my consulting clients has drastically reduced the time it takes me to do this, and still gives them the personal touch I want. The addition of an administrative assistant has allowed me to spend more time on the things that are most important to my goals. I wanted someone who was excited to be involved in different projects, so that they could help me with all my businesses.
When I find that I spend a lot of time each week doing one thing, I think: What system could I create to make this easier? You could also make training documents to pass this information on to others. Sometimes, a few hours spent operationalizing something can give me tons of time to concentrate on other valuable things in my future.
I am constantly reexamining my “Why”
Finally, I am constantly reassessing my business goals and my motivation to build them.
Although I am proud of the success of my consulting company and the financial stability it has provided me, I also know that I don’t have the time or desire to continue growing it. I love helping entrepreneurs by creating content and online courses. The blowdry bar is a great place to collaborate on a brilliant business idea. I would be foolish to walk away from this amazing opportunity. This helps me to determine the right amount of energy I should give to each company based upon what it is giving back to me.
It is also important to keep track of the reasons I started each business. This will allow me to see where my dreams are changing. Each person goes through different seasons. I might decide that one of my businesses is not for me. Oder, I might decide to start another!
I am confident that whatever decision I make for the future, these tools will allow me to manage everything, even the important things outside of work.
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