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How the portfolio mindset helps you speed up growth

Cut work. Grow fast.

Read time: 3 min, 20 sec

Hey there - it's Brian 👋

This week, I caught up with a few founder friends.

Coincidentally they each had more than 1 offer to customers each had the same complaint:

“I feel like I’m running from fire to fire, but my business isn’t growing.”

They seemed to run each business independently. So I helped them better align their businesses to save them hours each week.

So today’s issue is for you if you’re working on 2+ offers.

This works whether you have a small offer (one friend makes $800 a month on her newsletter) or a bigger one (I did this with a $100M SaaS business).

This subtle mindset shift will get you spending less time on businesses independently (and grow faster replicating what works).

Stay to the end and you get to choose what 13,000 people read next week.

Let’s get you more customers: 👇

How the portfolio mindset works

When I started writing online, I met a bunch of business owners with two offers, but looking at each offer on its own!

That meant they do all this extra work and have less control over their risk / revenue.

Instead of looking at your businesses independently, look at them as a whole portfolio.

A portfolio view is thinking how your offers all tie together:
Look at your overall risk across your offers. Ex. If you want medium risk have one high risk offer and one low risk offer.

If you have an offer with revenue spikes, have one with stable revenue to balance it out.

Where can you cut duplicative things you don’t need (and replicate what’s working)

For this issue we’re focused on capabilities, but we’ll dive into risk and revenue in a later issue (reply with “risk” or “revenue” if you want either tip sooner!)

The moment you launch your 2nd offer, you’ve gone from running a business to running a portfolio.

A few examples - that 2nd offer could be a:
• Course, e-book, or a newsletter
• SaaS product
• Service

The portfolio mentality is more kept to large corporations and less common in small businesses, so no one teaches it!

Let’s talk about how to save you time by cutting things that are duplicative (and replicating what works):

Where can you cut duplicative things?

Imagine you’re serving two customer types (and you have 2 offers).

One customer only applies to one business. The other applies to both. If you focus on the customer that applies to both of your offers then everything you do for them grows both of your businesses.

You stop running from fire to fire and instead spend time growing your business.

Here’s some more examples:
• Cut branding efforts that don’t go across the portfolio
• Cut vendors that can’t work across businesses
• Cut distribution channels that don’t overlap
• Cut marketing channels that don’t overlap
• Cut customer types

Where can you replicate what works?

Where can you put efforts into one thing and re-use it as much as possible?

• When you sell one offer, propose a discount if they buy the other
• Re-use processes and systems that worked
• Shared rewards program

It shouldn’t be double the work. Look for double the opportunity.

Real example: Cross-business branding

Last month, I had dinner with the founder of Two Bear Software. I love this example of how he streamlines his brand across two SaaS businesses.

He has two SaaS businesses: Auto-generated social media visuals + automated web testing.

So he uses the same branding across both! Check out his website to see how he seamless integrates his 2 offers: Bannerbear and Browserbear.

This means any efforts he puts into building his “bear” brand spread across both. Customers recognize the branding with either software.

Two Bear Software brands

Cut work. Grow fast.

So if you have 2 offers, you’re likely save time and drive more revenue by reducing double efforts and replicating what works (if it’s in-line with your business strategy).

Look across your offers for some quick wins.

And that’s it!

See you next Thursday 👋

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On Brian’s Mind

Here’s a quick personal update to get to know me and my thinking as I build my own business.

Just arrived in Penang, the food capital of Malaysia. I’m really excited to try as many of these Malaysian foods as I can. (It’s a long list so let me know if you have any favorite dishes!)

I finished Charlie Munger’s book. What made him and Berkshire so successful is this:

Use the biggest ideas from other disciplines to get a new perspective on business problems.

I’m still learning this tool to organize my ideas in a web. So far it seems helpful for brainstorming and research.