Mix It Up Thinking about diversifying your business? Here are some things to consider before adding to your company's offerings.
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Patrick Crowe isn't your typical entrepreneur. He avoids business lunches and after-work business mixers. He usually leaves the office by 6 p.m., and he doesn't work on weekends.
When it comes to his 4-year-old company, Crowe isn't doing things the usual way, either. Over the past few years, Crowe's Minneapolis-based branding and marketing company, Kamper Brands, has launched software, real estate and mortgage divisions. The company now has 27 employees: The real estate, branding and software divisions employ 13, 10 and four people, respectively. Overall company sales surpassed $2 million last year.
Outsiders might not see obvious synergies, but Crowe, 28, sees diversification as the best approach to innovation and sustainability. He admires conglomerates like 3M and W.L. Gore, which he describes as progressive and dynamic. Besides, he'd get bored designing brochures all day long. "The way my brain works, that's not enough. I need more than that," he says. "Diversification is what I do."