Are you someone with a ton of different ideas for businesses you’d like to start (or maybe you already have!) and you’re trying to figure out how to make it all work? Or maybe you want tips on how to manage multiple online businesses and blogs?
Here’s how to manage multiple online businesses and stay happy!
Side note: First, you should consider if running multiple online businesses is something you want to do. If you’re thinking about starting another business and wondering if you have the time and energy for it, sit with the potential idea for at least a few days before going out and buying a bunch of new domain names and business cards.
You might have a ton of ideas for potential businesses floating around. But if you’re truly going to start a business, it has to be something that you’re both passionate about and something people are willing and able to pay for.
Related Post: How to Find Your Niche
Know that it’s okay to save some of your passion for hobbies or non-monetized side projects rather than starting yet another full-time business.
1. Choose the right business model for your online businesses
A little background: I run three main online businesses,
namely a marketing business and two lifestyle blogs. If I were trying to run multiple brick-and-mortar stores, a restaurant, a massage practice, and a food truck, for example, it would be considerably more difficult, because there’s only one of me.
The beauty of an online business is that you don’t have to physically be there all the time because your website (your virtual storefront) is online 24/7 regardless of whether or not you’re actually at your computer.
If you want to manage multiple businesses, it’s important to choose the right business model and setup.
If you can create passive income streams or sell digital products or services, you’ll have a much easier time juggling different projects simultaneously. I would recommend creating a business model of either selling products (digital or physical) or online services. Or maybe something like putting advertising or affiliate links on a blog that doesn’t require your active involvement every second of the day.
Running multiple online businesses means often needing to work ON your businesses rather than IN them, and that might require hiring help from a virtual assistant to manage the day-to-day workings of each business while you handle the big picture plan and strategy.
2. Create passive income streams for a solid portion of your income
Passive income is like the holy grail of online income.
As a one-person shop, your time is the main bottleneck in your business(es). If you’re heavily involved with each client or transaction in your current business, you’re going to quickly run out of time.
Try to think — is there any way you can package up your knowledge or skills into a course or ebook? Or maybe you can sell a digital product like pre-made website themes to free up some of your time for working on another business?
Remember, you can also hire sub-contractors or assistants to help fulfill client-based work.
3. Focus on one online business at a time
From a day-to-day point of view, I find that I’m more productive if I can primarily focus on just one of my businesses in a particular day or chunk of time.
It’s tempting to flit around from tab to tab and get lost down the rabbit hole of the internet, but batching your tasks makes you much more efficient.
You might, for example, write a month’s worth of blog posts and emails for one business on a particular day. Schedule them out for the next month rather than writing a blog post for one business on Monday, another blog post for your other business on Tuesday, and yet another on Wednesday.
Especially if your businesses cover different topics, you’ll be much more productive if you can stay in the same mindset for a few hours at a time.
4. Use the 80/20 rule
According to Pareto’s law, 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts.
In business, this would mean that you should spend your time on the 20% of the tasks that account for 80% of your business’s growth or are otherwise tasks that you need to do (such as meeting with clients).
5. Use different browsers and a password manager to keep multiple logins straight
If you start multiple businesses, you’ll soon run into this problem: you have multiple logins for the same websites, such as Pinterest, Twitter, or your email marketing system. So how do you juggle all of these? First, use a password manager like LastPass or 1Password to save your login information for each site, so you don’t have to remember it or find random sticky notes on your desk.
Second, if you have a whole set of the same accounts for each business (like multiple social media accounts), I found the easiest way to deal with this problem was to use different browsers. I installed Chrome, Firefox, and Safari on my laptop and each browser stay logged into the websites for a particular one of my three businesses. (You can also create multiple profiles for Chrome, but it would take a little more logging in and out.)
6. Automate and outsource tasks that are outside your zone of genius
This one is crucial! Whenever possible, automate repetitive tasks with tech tools or hire a virtual assistant (or another service provider) to do work that is outside of your “zone of genius.”
Use a tool like MeetEdgar or Post Planner to automate and recycle your social media posts, and schedule out blog posts and emails in advance.
You can also use automation tools like Zapier for certain tasks. If you love spending your days working with clients one-on-one, then you could hire an assistant to do business growth tasks like write blog posts, update your website, build sales funnels, or whatever else you don’t want to do or don’t have time to do.
7. Keep a centralized to-do list
One potential source of stress and panic in running multiple businesses is having a bunch of disconnected to-do lists and task lists all over the place, and having things fall through the cracks.
To combat this problem, I use a single to-do list app like Asana or Trello, so I can keep all my to-do lists in one place. I have a separate to-do list for each business, a general to-do list, and a future goals list.
If you’re working on one project and suddenly remember something you’re supposed to do for another business, write it on your central to-do list so you can stay focused on your current task.
8. Do the work once, and leverage it in different ways
If you’re creating content for multiple online businesses, recycling your content can be a great time saver.
Take snippets of blog posts and turn them into social media posts or shareable graphics, create a roundup post of your past blog posts, or turn the highlights of a blog post into a content upgrade to build your email list.
People will find you in different ways and on different platforms, so it’s ok to use similar content in different places.
9. Test different things in your online business, then hone in on the strategy that gets you results AND feels good
Ultimately, no single strategy or approach will be the solution for absolutely everyone, so try different things and see what works for you. Experiment with spending Mondays on business #1, Fridays on business #2, or split up your days into mornings, afternoons, and evenings. Have a business model of only passive income products, or hire a whole team of assistants to run everything for you.
It’s up to you! Keep testing new things.
The goal is to find an approach that both get results for your businesses AND you enjoy doing.