According to Chicago Business, for most people, running just one business is challenge enough. But others find they’re capable of keeping multiple enterprises humming at the same time. Even so, experienced “multipreneurs” can stumble. Advice from local veterans:
DON’T: Hang on to a business when it’s clearly failing, says Jay Goltz, founder and owner of Artists Frame Service, Chicago Art Source and Jayson Home & Garden, who has started 10 businesses but now owns five. “There’s times when it makes sense to quit,” he says.
DO: Recruit and support young employees. Tom Walter, CEO of Tasty Catering in Elk Grove Village, co-founder and president of T. F. Processors and That’s Caring, among others, hired many of his longtime employees as teens. He relies on the advice of young people to reach new markets through social media and cutting-edge Web sites. “We go to the local high schools, and we get the best and brightest kids and we give them responsibility immediately.
DO: Work at night. “Luckily, I’m a night owl. I get a lot of work done between 9 and 1 a.m. The kids are asleep anyway.” says Ron Repking, co-founder and co-owner of Glen Ellyn-based Capable Networks, which creates online communities for corporate clients; co-founder and director of Diamante Montessori, a non-profit school in Glen Ellyn, and formerly the CEO and co-founder of Bauhaus Technologies, a consulting firm.
DON’T: Think starting your own business means you won’t have a boss. “If you’re trying to start a business because you want control of your life, that’s not a good reason. If you’re trying to get rid of a boss, that is not going to be the outcome. You always have bosses, whether it’s your board, your investors, whomever.” says Joe Dwyer, co-founder and co-owner of PlayNames, a children’s personalized music company; co-founder of FEZ, a social networking startup, and co-founder of another Internet startup so new it doesn’t yet have a name. He’s also a venture partner at OCA Ventures, a Chicago-based venture-capital firm.
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