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Are Too Many Business Ideas Hurting Your Productivity?

by Jennifer Mattern
Credit: Raja R of sxc.hu

Credit: Raja R of sxc.hu

Great business ideas–is there anything better, or more exciting, to an entrepreneur? For Web-based business owners sometimes there’s too much of a good thing. There are few barriers to entry when it comes to launching a new website, so the drive to follow your next big idea may come easily to you.

business ideas

Sometimes good business ideas can cost more than they’ll bring you though. That’s what happens when you pursue too many good ideas at once–your productivity suffers, and you can’t devote enough time to any single project.

What to do When You Have a New Business Idea

There’s nothing wrong with pursuing more than one business idea, whether that be multiple websites or blogs, several e-commerce shops, various informational products, or some combination. The problems stem from spreading yourself too thin. So how can you take advantage of your great business ideas without hurting the success of your existing ventures? Follow these steps:

1. Write down your ideas.

By writing down your business ideas as they come to you, you’ll always have a record of them. This means you can always come back to the best business ideas later if you don’t have time to pursue them right away. It also allows you to take some time to mull over the ideas before jumping into them. Otherwise you run the risk of getting caught up in the excitement of the initial idea, and neglecting more stable projects while you pursue it.

business plan

2. Put together a business plan and projections.

When you’re initially considering a business idea to decide if it’s worth the effort, you don’t have to assemble a full business plan. However, you should at least do some basic market research (make sure there’s a demand and the niche isn’t oversaturated) and you should think about income projections. Only when you’ve determined those income projections can you really evaluate a new business idea compared to your existing projects. The fact that it may be profitable doesn’t mean it’s worthwhile if you’ll have to cut back on more profitable ventures.

3. Figure out how much time you can spare.

If your hours are already maxed out with your existing business projects, then you probably don’t have the time to pursue a new idea. In that case, you’ll have to decide whether or not your new business idea has enough potential to be worth sacrificing your existing income streams. If you won’t have time to pursue the new project wholeheartedly, then you do have other options to consider. For example, if you normally setup your own websites for a launch, you may be able to outsource it instead to a designer, programmer, and copywriter. This way you can keep the focus on your existing income while contractors put the time into preparing the new project. You could also outsource some of the more routine tasks associated with your existing business while you pursue the new project (such as marketing).

In the end, it comes down to figuring out the most profitable ways to spend your working time (or money if you’re outsourcing the work). In some cases, you’ll be better off focusing on a single business venture and in others diversification can be more rewarding. There’s not a single right approach for every entrepreneur. Some good business ideas can’t be pursued. Others you won’t be able to pass up (even if it means sacrificing an existing site or project).

Remember this–just because a business idea sounds perfect to you doesn’t mean that it’s better than what you’re already doing. Do the research and planning before jumping into any new venture, and you won’t have to worry about your overall productivity suffering.

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2 comments

Dave September 29, 2010 - 4:58 am

Whenever I have too many business ideas I just vent them at picoidea.com and get paid for it! I’ve made like 400$ from it so far.

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