Who is Jack, you ask?  Mr. Jack-of-all-trades.  We need to nip him in the bud right now.  If you don’t, he will kill your professional image and likely your chance of having a successful business.

I recently came across the following document that was used in lieu of a business card.


The red bars are to protect the person’s identity.  In the interest of time, we’ll ignore the grammatical and formatting errors.

What are your first thoughts when you see the myriad of businesses presented in this one document?  This may be an extreme case, but it happens all of the time.

Bottom line, when attending networking events and creating marketing materials, pick one business/ topic and stick with it!  You may have several businesses that are directly related.  A primary example of this would be someone who owns an internet radio station and online magazines- it’s all media.  You can feasibly present these together.  However, if you own a landscaping company, babysitting service and you are a makeup artist that holds passion parties on the weekends, you DO NOT want to present these businesses at the same time/ on the same marketing materials/ at the same event.  After all, who wants to know that their babysitter holds passion parties?  Who wants to buy makeup from their landscaping company?

In business, it is important to convey a sence of mastery in what you’re doing.  If you appear scattered, it will be nearly impossible to inspire trust in potential clients.

16 Responses

  1. This is excellent advice! As an attorney, I find myself doing everything, aka a “general practitioner”, but in reality that really isn’t the best way to go. It would be better to focus on just one or two main areas of law, and work with those. So, this is a wonderful article!

  2. Well stated.

    All to often I run into “business” people who want to charge professional fees for less than professional service and skills.

    In many cases, they have business cards or “flyers” that promote everything under the sun, including what they learned during summer camp twenty-five years ago.


  3. Consider your target market then consider who is part of each particular group. Present the business with that target market. For instance, if you have one business that targets women and another business professionals; promote the one for business professionals to a group comprised of 60% professional males.

  4. This can even be a challenge when you have related services that fall under one umbrella, with teams or joint-ventures doing various parts. But if you are a lone wolf, or look like one to prospects, the multi-lines of business can be a real turn off.

    One thing to consider is branding, not just of the company or companies you represent, but also your own personal brand. What do you bring to the table? What do you want to be known for? And what impression is your marketing materials giving of you? Just like companies, your brand must be unique and communicate what you offer to people. Muddying up your brand with to many unrelated things hurts the message. Talking about everything is the same as talking about nothing. Making everything bold, does not make any particular part of your message stand out.

    The key is to know what message you want to send, and to analyze your own marketing material from a stranger’s perspective to see if it delivers that message. If someone you did not know handed the same thing to you, what would you think? And then get some feedback from others as well until you get the message and marketing materials you want. 🙂

    Good luck.

    1. Scott, you make a few awesome points. I especially agree with your comment about the importance of having a brand that conveys a clear message of what a company offers.

  5. You are so right! That was me. I have a few business interests and I had to learn to market them separately. It takes work, but it is worth it in the end.

    Hey, I still slip from time to time, but I’m working on it!

    Prayer and application changes! TTYL

  6. Love this article. I see people do this all the time and its very unprofessional. Take passion in what you do and if you have more than one…take the time to make separate business cards and know your market.

    Keep up the great work!

    1. Thank you Crystal! I have had the pleasure of observing the startup of your company and have been very impressed with the level of professionalism that you and your partner have displayed. 😉

  7. Miss Washington, I see your talent and intellectual status, go hand in hand! Excellent advise to anyone prowling the professional scene, looking ANY utilization of their skill.


  8. This is really good – I have to share it too! LOL! I find myself getting caught in that “I can do it all” circle sometimes – and I know many others who do. Thanks for this!

  9. Hey you guys This is wonderful information and I’m trying to figure out if I need to kill Jack myself. Please take a look at the website I posted, I put up a copy of my biz card in photobucket. I think I can get away with these two separate businesses under my one company name. Just some background information I would give while I’m handing over my card: I have a magazine and I also find Real Estate for investors. Yes unrelated but wouldn’t that make me some sort of business consultant for opening avenues for different streams of income?? Or am I far fetching…ok.. Let me have it lol (PS loooove this site!)

    Blessings of Prosperity my fellow entreprenuers!

  10. What is the success factor for having too many unrelated companies? How do you determine which one is going to get the most attention? The greatest money maker? If the greatest money maker gets the most attention, could that be the niche and overall business enterprise?

    These are not rhetorical questions; I often wonder how people juggle many businesses and make them successful. I’m not talking about related business, like the example of the multi-media company — I mean like in the sample card above. Does there come a time where you MUST declare one and eliminate or minimize the others?

    1. There is no cookie-cutter answer to your question. In marketing, it is important to be as clear and specific as possible. For this reason, it is unwise to market unrelated businesses at the same event. Regarding how many unrelated businesses a person can have, that depends on the person and the organizational systems that they have in place. Some people are only suited for small business ownership while others are serial entrepreneurs.

  11. No doubt most people who use this approach are afraid of missing possible opportunities by not bringing up the right business at the right time. Others think of “I can do anything you need” as a sure means of increasing their appeal. It does just the opposite; human nature freezes in instant indecisiveness at the phrase “Oh, anything.”