When I see people who appear to suddenly start running workshops or consulting sessions outside their direct business or niche/expertise, or when I notice that they’ve quite quickly launched a new service, micro business, or product not within their current framework I always cringe a little inside.
Most of us are guilty of the side business. The ‘just a couple’ of coaching or consulting sessions. The ‘one or two clients’ we take on outside our normal scope of work. The ‘some people have asked so here’s event X’.
The thing it makes me immediately think though is either;
- they want to make more money than they’re making right now
- they’re no longer satisfied with their current business and they’re not sure how to resolve that
Both of these are a problem but we’ll address the money issue here.
I spent a lot of my time in the corporate world in meeting rooms and occasionally piping up to say but guys, this is not our core business. Digging rocks out of the ground is (against my moral compass, but true to their golden handcuffs, I worked in the mining industry a lot!).
I meant; let’s focus on what we’re actually doing here and support & leverage that. Better processes, happier workers, more effective systems, finding new minerals and digging up more rocks were going to make the business better & more profitable. Not suddenly starting a service maintaining pipelines when that’s not what we did but feels like it could somehow be related.
Generally the most effective way to make more money in your established business is not to launch new products and services outside your current structure (in fact a whole heap of services even launched within your niche aren’t going to make you that much more money).
Despite what anyone says about ‘just quickly throwing up a landing page and offering X’ it’s not that easy. You still have to put in a lot of energy and time if you believe in quality and substantially more when it comes to that actual doing of it all. And that energy and time is most likely better spent in your current business.
The one you have been growing and working on. The one that probably isn’t highly leveraged and optimized.
But doesn’t the average multi-millionaire have numerous different income streams?
Yes. And often these include shares / the stock market (one stream), property (second stream) and other investments & assets (third stream) that a portfolio manager (or team of) is managing the daily grind of.
They likely didn’t start a coaching service on the side that they couldn’t dedicate too much time to because that would’ve taken them away from their core business that was already making an income.
It’s hard. This stuff is hard. You could easily write 15,000 words on it and in the end it’s your decision. But I think the decision should be accurately placed so we can all ensure we know exactly why we’re doing what we’re doing and we’re not making decisions based on distraction, frustration and shiny-objects.
- Do you want to make more money?
- Do you want to transition into an entirely new business?
- Are you doing this for a clear learning purpose that has future outcome to implement the new knowledge and the ultimate goal for this project now is not to make money?
- Have you got your current business running really well so that you don’t have to spend too much time in it and you are willing to dedicate yourself to the new business in the aim that eventually you can run both?
- Are you doing this just for fun or for some other purpose I’ve not covered that doesn’t have an aim to make you much money and you absolutely adore it (in which case, can it be an awesome hobby? we all need those again!)
Knowing why exactly you’re taking this on means you can focus on it, set up the systems to do so, or discard it.
I wasted a lot of time on distractions in business. Yes I learned things in some of them but if I did it all again I would focus from the beginning (after the shenanigans of being a complete newbie with no business brain whatsoever). It takes dedicated effort to not do everything, all of the time.
There’s nothing wrong with starting new businesses, knowing the sacrifice and cost of doing so and understanding your ultimate aims and strategy.
But if you’re launching a new service outside of your current core business to make more money, there are likely many better ways to leverage what you’ve already built.
Brainstorm with some clever people and you could come up with a better business model, a more effective way of charging, automatic upsell opportunities, a change to your core service that doubles your money, optimization across your ecommerce site that brings back 3% of your abandoned carts and banks you thousands more dollars, a marketing campaign that has much better user engagement in your emails and in turn results in more sales, a CRM that actually means you stay in touch and you are valuable to your clients, a next level program, massaging your customer segment and so on.
You can think outside the box, but you should probably stay in your lane.