Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Is it a New Business or The Old Business in New Clothes?

And why does that matter?
Old, new, revamped, re-branded.
How do I know when I have a new business?

For a change, I'm going to answer that one first from an accounting perspective:
  • Does it have it's own expenses?
  • Does it use different staff?
  • Does it have a different client base?

So let's say that you answered "yes" to the questions above. Next comes:
  • Do I have enough time for another business?
  • Am I already doing this but not considering it another business?
  • Will it be more complex if I pull this thing out into another business?
  • Can it wear "training wheels" for a while longer so I can figure all the other questions out?
In most ways I could say yes and no to the above questions. All of them will depend on what else you have going on. I've seen folks add another business that was as high-powered as the one they started with and it was always a fight for attention. I've seen folks that have that split in a really comfortable way. I've also seen the first business completely fade after the second one is started and vice verse.

The bottom line is "Do not attempt this without professional help".
You will need legal and accounting help for sure to figure out where all the lines are and how to play safely within them for each entity. You will want to know how to organize the entities, and like with a doctor's opinion, feel free to get a second one.

Just like a relationship, your idea may be the next fabulous thing for your life, or it could be a distraction from making your primary business really work. If your first business is not functional, why would your second one? Yeah, a little tough love is needed here for the short-attention-span-impaired amongst you. Starting a new one when you're not in love with the old one anymore should done after a lot of soul-searching.

Don't let me steal your thunder though. This new business may be exactly what you need, and what happens as a result will be a surprise to us all! Look at the questions above and when you're ready, reach out for some help answering them.

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