Why You Should Stick to One Business Idea

Something that’s really common amongst small business owners is running two or more businesses. I see people who own a massage therapy business also run a greeting card company or someone who owns a networking company who also own a florist and so on. Two or more businesses happen usually for one of two reasons:

1. Either the first business isn’t making as much money as the person would have liked and they believe another opportunity will be the one that will make it big, or

2. The first business is hard to get going and the business owner gets bored and frustrated with it. When the second idea comes along, it’s more exciting and interesting and the person’s motivation levels are rejuvenated again.

Or it could happen for a combination of these reasons. The problem occurs when the second business idea doesn’t meet expectations and then the business owner creates a third or even a fourth idea. I’ve met business owners who are running seven or eight business ideas and suddenly reach crisis point because they don’t know what they do anymore.

So, why then should you stick to one business idea? Perhaps, these people are right – maybe it does take two or three ideas before you make it big and isn’t it possible to be able to run several different businesses simultaneously?

Well, here’s the thing – and you may disagree here (all opinions welcome), but I’ve worked with hundreds if not thousands of business owners and I really, honestly can’t recall a time when I’ve seen two or more business ideas work simultaneously. The best and most successful businesses work when the business owner concentrates on one thing and one thing only.

But, I hear you cry – what about those people who are doing PR and training or coaching and management consultancy and are really successful? Well, I would argue that if you look closer at their businesses, you’ll find they are running one business in different ways. For instance, a PR professional that I know teaches PR, works on PR on a one to one basis with her clients and has e-books on her site about PR which she sells successfully. She’s even just branched out into offering workshops to teach PR professionals how to be successful. But, everything revolves around PR – if I was recommending this business owner, I’m very clear on what she does.

Also take the example of a successful coach who also does training. It’s not just any training though – it’s training involving coaching. She’s also involved in a coaching network and speaks on behalf of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD) on coaching. Anyone who meets her knows she is a coach and knows how she can help them.

So, bearing that in mind – here’s my top 3 reasons why you should stick to one business:

1. Taking on a new business is the same as starting a new business.

Your new business will take time, effort, focus, motivation and possibly money to start up and get off the ground. You’ll need to give it at least 18 months of undivided attention and treat it like it’s your baby. OK, I’m absolutely sure you can do this…but, what happens to your first business while you’re doing this and what happens when you get bored of this new business idea or it doesn’t get off the ground as quickly as you want it to? Will you then start another business?

2. No-one will know what you do.

When people ask you the question of what do you do – what will you tell them? Will it be I do x and I also do y and sometimes I do z? Or will it be, I do x and here’s how it can help you? If you have two or more business ideas, believe me no-one will be quite sure what you do and how you can help them. If you don’t believe, try asking a few of your trusted contacts who will give you honest feedback…

3. Jack of all trades, master of none

One of the reasons that’s often given to me as a reason for not choosing just one business is the fear that they won’t be able to use all the skills they have. This is absolutely not true – just look at the PR and coaching examples above – they will use all their skills and much more. If you focus on one thing and take this one idea to the market in different ways, you’ll be amazed at the results and the difference.

OK then, if you already have two or more businesses what do you do? My first suggestion is to stop and decide which one of these businesses you’d really like to focus on – and then (brave step this), let go of all the other businesses and really throw your heart and soul into this one business. If you’re not sure which business you should focus on, get the help of a coach or a business mentor to help you.

And if you’re considering taking on another business – stop and really think about it. Are you sure that’s the best decision? Are you prepared to drop the other businesses you have and focus on this one 100%?

Think very carefully about taking on a new business – I know it’s exciting and improves your motivation, but it may only be a short time until you get bored with this one too and then are you going to be looking for that next big idea?

The Number One Business Growth Killer!

Maybe you can relate to this. You have a full time job, kids to raise, soccer practices, a bake sale, a stack of papers that need to get processed for your business and a “to do” list a mile long for your network marketing company.

On a “typical” day, you enter your home office with a laundry list of things that you know needs to get done and you proceed to check your email only to discover there’s the newest “latest and greatest” traffic formula available or a “new” way of generating a flood of leads for your business. Fill in the blank with things that distract you on occasion.

You go check out the sales page and see what’s in it for the next 20 minutes. Maybe you scour the net looking for reviews on the product and in the meantime, you discover there’s another handful of products that can help your business that you weren’t familiar with. You proceed to pick up two of them.

Their ebooks and a couple of online videos. Now, 3.5 hours have passed since you first sat down to get some “work” done and the only thing you’ve achieved so far is you’ve purchased a couple of products. These weren’t on your list of things to do “either.”

You proceed to read the ebooks and watch the short videos. But there’s a big problem…not only did you already have this information, but the advice they’re sharing is completely the opposite of what you were told to do in the product you bought a month ago!

Opportunity seekers are constantly looking for the next “latest and greatest” – whether it’s a tool to make their life easier, maybe it’s a new business all together, maybe it’s a new software program, but whatever it is the “opportunity seeker” is constantly searching for the “easier” way to get things done.

It’s because of this, they purchase anything that comes available that will resolve the “itch” to get something done easier or faster than before. They really have no intentions of actually using the information. They’re “collectors”…information collectors. One of the results that takes place from having this perspective is they experience massive information overload. I believe this is the number one business killer because as a result, nothing productive takes place.

The true entrepreneur, however, views their business through a different set of lenses. It’s not that they don’t buy stuff – they do. The big difference is because they’re “doers” and constantly getting things done they know the difference between something that will genuinely help their business and they’re very particular and specific in their needs and understand what will and will not truly help their business.

It’s a different perspective. A completely different way of looking at their business.

If you’re constantly purchasing products “hoping” that the next one will truly be the “cure”, I want you to stop what you’re doing. There’s a really good chance you already have what it takes to at least get the ball moving.

At the end of the day you need a domain, an autoresponder and education on how to piece things together. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Don’t let information overload kill your business. Create a daily check-sheet of things that must get done – then tackle it…one item at a time. Equally important, don’t allow the typical “distractions” (emails, web browsing, phone calls, etc) get in your way. Force yourself to take daily, actionable steps that are objective and make them an absolute priority. Because your business depends on it.

101 Marketing Strategies – There is Only One Business

It’s one of the single most common questions at every social networking event, every party, every seminar, “What do you do?” What is your answer? What if I told you that, almost no matter what you say, you are essentially wrong?

What business are you in? There really is only one business. If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur, you are in all in the same business. What is that business? Marketing. Marketing, plain and simple. And, as soon as you begin to embrace that, you can begin to see the success of your business grow.

It is a big mistake to think you are in the business of your particular product or service. When you spend most of your time and energy focusing on the development of that product or service or working IN your business, instead of ON your business you are risking everything. The businesses that succeed and thrive have someone at the helm who understands this concept and learns to passionately embrace it.

The single best thing you can do for your business is to become, first and foremost, a marketer. You should never put the marketing of your business into someone else’s hands. Most areas of your business can (and should) be outsourced, but NOT your marketing. That is one of the few areas of your business that you should eagerly take charge of, experimenting, learning, testing and making sure that it is constantly improving.

If you are like I was, then you may not be an avid student of marketing, you may find it difficult, scary or hard. I did at the beginning as well. It seems almost ethereal, and the skills difficult to come by. It’s not true. You can, and MUST learn marketing. It has become a passion for me, and it can for you as well. Your business success depends on it.