Maximizing Your Business Instead of Creating a New One

This week on the blog, I want to discuss maximizing the business that you have instead of creating more businesses that you don’t need. You may be wondering what does this looks like? Maximizing our business has always been an important topic, however, in today’s times, certain topics are trendier, such as having multiple streams of income. When it comes to having multiple streams of income, I’ve heard different numbers tossed around, some have said an individual needs three streams, while others have said five or seven.

It is not as cut and dry, or as clear as it should be. For example, when you work a nine-to-five, you go to work and come home, and at the end of the week, you know you’re going to get a paycheck. You could also go out and get a second job or create a side hustle, which means now you have your nine-to-five, and a five-to-nine. So, you have created a second stream of income. And maybe through that, you create some investments. If you’re paying attention to the numbers, you now have created three or more streams of income.

For entrepreneurs, it’s not so simple, the majority believe that creating other streams of income means creating new businesses. And they’re losing at this game because a business is like a child. Your business is a baby, and it has to grow and develop. I don’t care who it is, it could be the best business owner, and their business still has to go through its process. Some business owners go through that process a whole lot faster than others. In knowing this, you can’t keep starting over businesses trying to get to that point. We have to start understanding what it means to maximize the business that we have. Most businesses have hidden income streams. If you will only take the time to look and dig through your business model and see what you’re leaving out, then you will discover that you might be leaving money on the table.

When I first started my photography business, about 10 years ago, I literally went in and took pictures of whatever and whoever. I have taken pictures of people and families, and weddings. I did whatever for payment. Although I was taking all of those pictures, I didn’t start really flourishing as a business owner. What I decided to do at that moment was increase my understanding. I started understanding licensing images, creating prints and canvases, and conducting training. This is the moment when I could say I actually had a photography business. I didn’t realize I had this many hidden income streams, and I am not alone. About 90% of businesses have more than one income stream already built into it if they take the time to tackle it. This is where maximizing your business comes into play.

A lot of times business owners hit that brick wall, and they go through that phase of growing their business. What happens sometimes is that that thing you jumped out on, is not the thing that most people are calling you for, and in your mind, you are saying to yourself, well, obviously, this is not good, and I need another stream of income. As a result, you’re going to hold that idea in limbo, waiting on somebody else to start calling you about that again. And until that happens, you start something else. And this goes on for the next five years. Before you know, it, you’re a serial entrepreneur by default, and not because it’s working for you. Sometimes this loss puts people in a bad space.

Think about it, during the Pandemic we saw companies such as Louis Vuitton, leverage the fact that they have warehouses to manufacture their own products and they were able to pivot and manufacture PPE products. They did not have to change their business model, all they had to do was get new materials, manufacture these new products, and keep on moving in the right direction. And soon as the curve in the pandemic started to flatten, they resumed their normal operations. In your business, you have the same thing. Ask yourself, what am I doing in my business to maximize the opportunity?

If you’re a photographer like me, do you have a studio? Can you create an opportunity where the people in the local community can rent your studio space? Now you have a rental arm of your photography business. You no longer only have a photography business where you’re shooting and just getting revenue. This is nothing more than trading time for money, but now you’re getting residual income or passive income off of the business that you created. And you didn’t have to create a new business.

You’ve taken the pictures already, they are done. Now, someone wants to purchase prints. Will, you set up a new part of your business, for people to go ahead and purchase the prints without them having to call you? Can you load your images on a site and get passive income from licensing? Can you create training and teach people how to do what you do by creating a course that is housed on your website?

Ultimately, for new entrepreneurs and some older entrepreneurs, that are running into dead spots in their business, I want you to go back and look at what you’ve already created. I believe that this is the way to keep us lean and for that matter, “in business.”

So, how do we maximize the business we have instead of creating other businesses that we don’t need?

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J Haleem Washington

Jamar “J Haleem” Washington is an author, business coach, corporate trainer & education success, advocate.