When you start a business, most pundits tell you to focus on what you do best and ignore every other distraction and temptation. But small business blogger Stephanie Chandler says running multiple businesses could be the smartest decision you've ever made. I'm intrigued. And I think Chandler's examples can be extended into the managed services market. Here's why.
In her Small Business Growth Strategies blog, Chandler points to investor Warren Buffett and comedian Steve Martin. What do those two vastly different people have in common? Buffett takes profits from one company and uses them to purchase shares in another company. Martin, in stark contrast, took his comedy skills and diversified into movies and stage. (Chandler saw TV biographies on Buffett and Martin, which inspired her multi-tasking blog entry.)
Switching back to the managed services market, there are multiple examples of entrepreneurs running multiple companies. They include:
- ARRC Technology launching CharTec, the hardware as a service specialist
- Directive launching JoomConnect, which melds a Web content management system with ConnectWise's PSA software
- inhouseIT building Spam Soap, the email security specialist
- The Network Depot launching Virtual Administrator, a master MSP
- Rezitech launching MSPintegrations, which writes code that pieces together different MSP platforms.
Still, the quick examples above show that many MSPs seem to have an entrepreneurial itch that they need to scratch over and over again. Plus, I suspect the entrepreneurs are able to leverage money from one company to start the next company.
Of course, there are some horror stories as well. We're aware of at least one MSP that's on the brink of bankruptcy, even as a side business potentially flourishes (if we ever confirm the facts we'll share them with you...).
If you're an MSP building or launching a sister business let us know.
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