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6 Tips for Managing Multiple Small Businesses at Once
  • 14 June 2017
  • Eric Michaels

6 Tips for Managing Multiple Small Businesses at Once

If you have experienced the level of success that allows you to open up multiple small businesses or locations, you deserve a pat on the back. After all, most entrepreneurs fall victim to a variety of common mistakes that stand in their way and struggle to determine how to devote the necessary time and energy to opening and managing new stores, while working to ensure the original store keeps running smoothly. Here are six tips for managing multiple small businesses at the same time.

1. Get your first shop in order

Your first business location is your home office, and it should serve as the standard for any new shop that you open. Before you focus on opening additional locations, you should make sure that your primary store runs like a well-oiled machine. You may even ask some of your managers and top employees to postpone vacations for the time being so you know—down to the person—who will be on the scene as you hustle to launch new stores. Delegate appropriately, but keep the lines of communication open. Letting quality control lapse at your first store would be a huge mistake.

2. Load up on talent

If you are opening new locations of the same business, you will have to address various staffing concerns. First of all, you will need to hire general managers and sales associates for each of your new stores. If you do not have an in-house human resources (HR) department, you may want to leverage available freelance HR services to staff any open positions. Although you should keep valued employees at your first store, you may want to ask at least one trusted manager to helm a new location. Their experience will pay off during the opening months, and they will be a valuable resource when it comes to training new employees.

3. Prepare to delegate

As a small business owner, you may sometimes feel the urge to try to do everything yourself. But it is important to remember that you will have to delegate more and more tasks as you develop more businesses. While the idea of delegating a large chunk of your work may sound stressful at first, it is important for you to remember that you have qualified staff members in place who are ready and willing to take on these additional responsibilities. Rather than spending the next several months worrying about how you will get everything done, you can spend the time training your new staff members and assigning them tasks that will prove their abilities, giving you peace of mind.

4. Set reasonable goals

When creating your business plan for new locations, you will need to set specific financial targets. Usually, you can work with advisors to crunch the numbers based on the reporting from your other locations. After a few weeks of operating, you will be able to determine how accurate your initial goals were. Overall, you should not be afraid to adjust your sales targets for new locations once the realities of your business become apparent.

5. Ask for weekly reports

Modern accounting software is able to track sales stats from a variety of new locations. As a best practice, you should strive to dig deep into the data at the end of every week. In addition, you should have an in-depth chat with managers from each location on a weekly basis. There are some things the numbers do not tell you, and you should hear from employees about what may be behind online reviews and other feedback your brand receives.

6. Maintain face time

There is nothing more irresponsible than an absentee owner. Avoiding new locations, or failing to keep a hand in your first store, sends the wrong message to your staff. Make sure to pop into each location on a weekly (if not daily) basis to see for yourself how the business is progressing. Likewise, you should take advantage of the latest technology to talk face-to-face with managers every few days if you cannot show up in person.

In order to successfully manage multiple small businesses at the same time, you need to perfect your juggling skills. By using all of the available resources to your advantage, you can make sure that this transition goes as smoothly as possible.

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