When you first start a business, you usually have no clue that somewhere down the line, you might open a second. Or a third. But many of us — including myself — end up being happenstance serial entrepreneurs. After selling our first business filing service to Intuit, my husband, Phil, and I didn’t wait long before forming CorpNet. We were simply too passionate about helping people become entrepreneurs to sit out of the game.
I like to think I’ve learned a few things after starting two successful businesses, so I’d like to share them here.
Your Understanding of How to Open a Business Changes
It’s kind of like with kids, right? With the first one (or in our case, first two; we have twins), you’re so careful and worried about breaking them. Your first business, you take all the precautionary measures, and might even go overboard. But with your subsequent businesses, you know the shortcuts and know how to get to profitability faster, usually.
You Can’t Rest on Your Laurels
With our first company, we didn’t have to market the business. It was so early in the business filing game that we cornered the market in a huge way. But with CorpNet, suddenly there was all this competition, and we had to struggle to learn how to once again get the market’s attention.
Failures are Great Learning Lessons
No one likes to fail, but as soon as I shifted my way of looking at mistakes, I started learning from them. Then I never made the same mistake twice. Now, I try to be humble when I make a mistake and ask myself: “what can I learn from this to be better next time?”
Protecting Your Businesses is Priceless
Of course, we’re in the business filing industry, so we know the importance of starting a corporation or LLC as a way to protect your personal assets. But I’ve worked with a lot of solopreneurs who maybe worked as sole proprietors in the first business who decided to start an LLC or corporation the second time around. The risk you put your sole proprietorship in simply isn’t worth it.
It’s More Fun the Second (and Third) Time Around
Because I had learned tons about starting and running a business already, I was able to enjoy the process so much more with CorpNet. It helps to have an amazing team to help us thrive.
The Right Staff is Essential
Speaking of staff: hiring the right people has been a huge boon to CorpNet. We’ve gotten smarter in knowing what kinds of people we need to help take our company to the next level, and I have to say, we’ve been pretty spot-on in our hiring practices.
Extending your entrepreneurial endeavors beyond that first business is a great way to feed your passion for small business.
Starting another business? Let our experienced business specialists handle the filing while you focus on running your new company.
Nellie Akalp is an entrepreneur, small business expert, speaker, and mother of four amazing kids. As CEO of CorpNet.com, she has helped more than half a million entrepreneurs launch their businesses. Akalp is nationally recognized as one of the most prominent experts on small business legal matters, contributing frequently to outlets like Entrepreneur, Forbes, Huffington Post, Mashable, and Fox Small Business. A passionate entrepreneur herself, Akalp is committed to helping others take the reigns and dive into small business ownership. Through her public speaking, media appearances, and frequent blogging, she has developed a strong following within the small business community and has been honored as a Small Business Influencer Champion three years in a row.