Columns and Blogs

Expand your Business

Business Information by Gladys Edmunds
At age 15 Gladys developed a travel service that would prosper for more than 30 years. She is a national award winning entrepreneur, keynote speaker, author and columnist. Visit her at

Expand your Business

Expand your Business

Dear Gladys,

I have heard your opinions about how important it is to have multi-streams of income. And considering that I had been caught up in company budget cuts and lost jobs several times, I agree with you. So, I’ve learned my lesson. I have now been in my own business for the past six years and I am very pleased with my progress. I would like to start a second business that is unrelated to my home inspection company. A friend had asked me to partner with him on opening a mobile phone store. However, my wife says I need to keep my focus on my home inspection company and continue to give it my undivided attention. I would like to do both. I also do golf coaching for a local school. What do you think?

Thanks - Matt

Certainly, having more than one income can be a good thing. And joint ventures can make it easier to have ownership in unrelated companies. But there are a few things you might want to consider first to help you decide.

Meet with your friend and get 100% clear on what his vision is of having you as his partner.

Examine closely what your partnership would involve. If it requires a financial investment, make certain that you can comfortably afford to make the investment.

And, more important, your time must be considered. How much time will you need to invest and can you afford it without jeopardizing your other business interest?

In short, both you and your potential partner might want to make an honest assessment of the resources, skills and availability needed to make the new venture successful. After you have come to satisfactory answers consider the following:

  • Develop a well thought out plan that includes a marketing and sales strategy. You need to know how and where you will get customers. Selling mobile phones is a very competitive business. Therefore, you should be serious about your marketing and sales strategies.
  • Seek the counsel of a lawyer to help you and your friend develop a written partnership agreement so that you start off on the right foot and lessen problems down the road.
  • Find an accountant to help set up your books. Perhaps a business development consultant can help to address marketing issues. And, don’t hesitate to call in other professionals that can help you to get things rolling in the right direction.
  • Manage your time so that you can spend quality time with your family and try to balance work with play. I know that it’s easier said than done but it’s for your best interest to do all you can to keep your life balanced. Sometimes we get so caught up in our work that we forget to take time for non-work activities.

A good rule of thumb is, if things are flowing smoothly in your current business, then perhaps adding a business venture with a working partner will work out well.

Whatever you decide to do, keep in mind that each time you invest either your time, and/or money into a business, you owe it to yourself to move cautiously and consider all possibilities before you make a final decision.