With so many creative thoughts passing through your head, it can be tempting to jump on each one to capitalize on your unique ideas. However, what happens when you develop a new brand concept that you are inclined to pursue? What happens to your existing brand? Is it even possible to juggle multiple brands at once, especially if your new business idea is wildly different than your current business?
Let me start by saying yes—it is absolutely possible to manage several brands and find success with each one. Take it from someone who runs a wedding planning firm and a software company! However, just because it’s possible doesn’t mean it’s easy. It will take grit, determination, and some long nights to get where you want to be, but that’s no reason to hold yourself back from reaching for your full potential.
Assuming you’ve checked off some of the big questions (like whether you can afford to launch a new business right now), you may be ready to dive into all things business development. You might have ideas for your logo or what your website will look like.
The Catersource Conference & Tradeshow, co-located with The Special Event, is heading to Miami July 19 – 22, 2021. Immerse yourself in an inspiring and safe event focused on the new trends and opportunities in catering and events! Learn more
But, wait. You’re not ready for all of that yet! First, you need to create a foundation to ensure your new brand is sustainable while confirming that your existing one remains sound.
Here are three fundamental components to keep you on the right track to success. Once you knock these out, then you can start digging into the fun stuff.
Set realistic goals across the board.
There’s no way to achieve success without some concrete goals keeping you moving. You probably already knew this from your original brand, but it’s always worth a refresher! You’ll need to get crystal clear in what you hope to get out of your new business venture. Do you want it to ultimately feed customers to your existing company? Is it your opportunity to immerse yourself in a new-to-you market? Are you attempting to solve a problem that you or your clients have faced?
When you clarify your purpose, you can create some attainable, time-restrained goals that you can break down into smaller steps to get you started. While you might hope to build your new brand into a six-figure business, start with where you wish to be in a year through a detailed business plan. What would you deem a success at this time next year? Then, work backwards to identify the key milestones that you will need to make on the way there. Goals are never meant to be set in stone; use them as a starting point and be open to them evolving over time as you grow and learn.
Develop smart staffing solutions.
While it’s not impossible to juggle multiple brands on your own, it will be much more manageable if you have a team at your side—whether it’s a single partner/co-founder or a staff of many. Consider how your existing business is staffed and whether you can loop some of your employees into your new business endeavor and teach them how to split responsibilities. This tends to be better suited for brands that are similar in service or in the same industry, but you may find that some team members share your excitement and are open to whatever you throw their way.
Alternatively, you might consider going through the hiring process to bring on new team members who have the knowledge and experience to help you bring your vision to life. This is a smart way to go if you’re switching industries or need a specific skill set for your new brand (like we needed tech-specific support for our new brand!). The hiring process will require you to commit a fair amount of time and energy to find the right fit, but it allows you to pinpoint the very best candidate with the expertise you need.
Distinguish messaging for each brand.
Brand messaging isn’t a matter of copying and pasting verbiage from your marketing materials, even if your businesses are similar in ideas. You need to develop all-new messaging that differentiates your new brand from your old one, as well as any competitors. Spend some time digging into the qualities that set your business apart—how would you like your brand to appear in the market? Try to narrow it down to three to five brand adjectives to drive your messaging and ensure it remains consistent.
If your new business is in the same industry or serves a similar market, use your existing network to glean ideas and run them by clients or colleagues for feedback. For example, if you own and operate a catering business but are considering launching a rental company, speak to your event clients or designer peers about their pain points and what kind of information would be most valuable to them. In most cases, you’ve already built the connections, so you shouldn’t have to look too far for support.
Each of these elements serves your overarching business strategy, so these are not areas to skip or speed through to the next steps. Be intentional about setting goals, building a team, and refining your messaging, so you can lay the groundwork to kickstart a successful business—it’s more than possible.