By Cheryl Weber. For every 10 parties who are interested in purchasing our handyman franchise, we find that only one or two are appropriate," Mark Richardson says. "Too many remodelers think you just add water and watch it grow." Here are some reasons not to diversify, according to Richardson.

1. Ego. People feel that because they're successful in one thing, they'll be successful in another. Ego alone is a poor reason to branch out.

2. You want to make more money immediately. Like having a baby, birthing a new sideline requires a great deal of cash to see a return down the road. "You have to have the staying power to let the baby get out of its diapers," Richardson says.

3. You want to work less. If you're working 60 hours a week in your primary business, he advises, prepare to work 70 to 80 hours for several years until your upstart is stable.

4. You're pushing the market. In the early 1980s, a trusted electrical subcontractor asked Case Design/Remodeling for a job. "We said, 'There must be an opportunity to do electrical work, both for our company and for homeowners,'" Richardson says. "But we got out of it after a year or two because we were spending all our time running around looking for work." Let the market push you into a sideline; analyze the market's size and depth to determine demand.

5. You have a one-track mind. Case tests its franchise applicants to see how well they can handle multiple strategies. Certain personalities are great at focusing on the one ball in the air, Richardson says. Others are adept at juggling.

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