Thursday, June 5, 2008

SMEs - benefits of portfolio entrepreneurship (3/2007)

What is portfolio entrepreneurship? Portfolio entrepreneurship normally follows on from serial entrepreneurship. Ideally this should be something all entrepreneurs do, but seldom is.

A serial entrepreneur is someone who buys and / or starts a business, and then moves on and sells it, and then repeats the process. However, a portfolio entrepreneur, as the next stage, owns multiple businesses at the same time.

A portfolio entrepreneur requires a fair amount of skill to juggle these different requirements on his or her time. It is not a simple process and ideally, to start with, the entrepreneur should ensure that the two businesses are in the same industry, as this will allow the entrepreneur to then gain the necessary skills in managing two businesses simultaneously.

Key success factors here are partners and delegation. Failure to do take partners, and more importantly the delegation of duties, will surely lead to business failure, and quite likely a nervous breakdown. There are always exceptions ot the rule, but ideally you need someone to do the work. At this level you should be focused on strategy and possibly top level sales.

I personally love the sales part, and therefore focus on strategy and sales. Work to your strengths.Give it a try. It is fun and challenging. It is exciting and as you begin to diversify it is incredibly stimulating. Just remember the cash flow consequences or you can lose it all.

Rob Smorfitt

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