Launching a second business: Lessons from the first

I’m about to launch a new business, my second one. Thinking back to when I started my first business, there are definitely some things I’ll do differently. With the benefit of some experience behind me – yes sometimes it was painful to learn – I’ll be able to use it to my advantage.

Things I’ll do differently:

  • Focus on the offering so it’s easy to understand
  • Get the company look sorted before launch
  • Network regularly to talk about the business
  • Use organisation systems from the off
  • Increase response time to enquiries
  • Pay more attention to my instincts
  • Say ‘no’ when it’s needed.

Things I will continue to do:

  • Believe in what I’m doing
  • Take advice from the best people
  • Conduct business in a way that makes me proud.

Taking on a new venture while running an existing one can prove tricky. You need to allocate enough time to the first business to ensure things don’t slide – while being hands-on in the new one making those crucial decisions. Both need a clear vision and action plans.

If you’re thinking about setting up something new, Lisa Murray from Revive Business Coaching has this advice: “Choose the business idea which is most likely to generate the greatest profits for the least effort. This business will most likely bankroll the second business you start.”

Richard BransonOutsourcing or getting the right in-house team to run the businesses is crucial to success. We can’t be good at everything, but we can create a team that is.

Sir Richard Branson said in an interview to The Genius Network: “The next stage is to be a great delegator, and not try to do everything yourself. Try to find people that are better than you, who could put you out of business effectively. Whatever you spend all day doing, try to find someone better than you to do that to replace you at it so you can go off and think about the next big picture.”

It’s an exciting time and I’m looking forward to what’s coming up. I’d love to hear any advice and thoughts from those on their second, third… or twelfth business!

Written by Christine Cawthorne

Christine Cawthorne is a senior level content producer with years of experience working for organisations such as the BBC, AOL, and Yahoo!.

She runs Crocstar Media, a copywriting agency that produces web content for global corporations and advises small businesses on their social media campaigns. Christine recently presented a workshop at Social Media Week London 2011 titled ‘Sweet Retweets: How to write for social media’.

Christine also teaches undergraduate and postgraduate journalism students at the University of Sheffield. The courses are accredited by the industry’s principal training organisations: the NCTJ, the PTC and the BJTC.

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