Using Zoho One to manage two (or more) businesses

Using Zoho One to manage two (or more) businesses

We are one company that operates two business, a scenario that Zoho One doesn't really seem to handle very well, and one which I can't imagine is at all unique to us!  (It is basically designed to facilitate branding and use for one business only per subscription).

A bit of background ....

In terms of Zoho One apps, our business operations mostly centre on using Inventory / Books.  Back in the beginning of our time using Zoho, when things were a bit smaller scale, I thought we might be able to run it all under one subscription, by doing such things as disabling the logo and organisation name and addresses, creating separate templates for all documents relating to each business and associating them, using reporting tags in Books so that we could run separate P&Ls for each business etc etc etc ....

BUT it became apparent fairly quickly that this was going to become complicated and messy (especially as we grew to more users etc,) and it would be better to separate the two businesses out into each having their own subscription.  A big, tear-your-hair-out kinda job that I wouldn't wish on anyone, especially having to go through Books with a fine tooth comb and separate out all the transactions!  : / 

Anyway, fast forward and now and the situation is ...

I have two separate super admin accounts, just for myself as the owner for each business.  (Annoying, but that's the way it goes ... and don't even get me started on the whole issue of having to have two separate mobile phone numbers as one individual person to open another account!  Beyond ridiculous, but Zoho appear determined to remain steadfast and not able to see any semblance of reason on that front.) 

Because I also keep an eye on the emails of our main user account at each of our locations, I am basically working across four accounts a lot of the time.  I use Firefox Multi-Container to be able to keep multiple accounts open at the same time, and that works well, but working this way can certainly get a bit higglety-pigglety!

For the most part though, it has worked out ok,  keeping the Inventory / Books separate for each business and then combining the figures when it comes to BAS tax time etc. (as, of course, one company means ONE entitiy in the eyes of the Tax Office). 

It did mean we lost the ability to do certain things like transfer stock between the two businesses, ie by having each one as a 'warehouse' under the one subscription, but we are able to fairly easily work around this by using inventory adjustments at each end instead. 

HOWEVER, the main issue that lingers is on the communications side.  We use the Workplace apps, Mail, Cliq etc within the businesses.  With Cliq as an example, it's ok if I am at my computer, because I have all the accounts open as described above, therefore I can receive / see all messages intended for me.  BUT, on my mobile phone app, because I can only be logged in to one of the Orgs at once, I'm only able to receive messages from one half of my employees!  (Depending which business's Org I am logged in to.)

And because we are one company, there are times when it would be beneficial for users in one of the businesses to be able to directly message users in the other business.  But the way it is at present they are two separate 'silos'.  

Is there anyone else out there with this situation?  If so, how do you deal with it?  With Cliq, could this problem be alleviated by adding the users from one of the Orgs as 'external' users in the other Org? 

Sometimes, I wonder if it would be better to set up a separate 'company-wide' Workplace subscription and we all use that instead of / over the top of Workplace associated with the separate Zoho One Org's but I suspect that could lead to its own set of problems. 

If anyone has any words of wisdom related to this, please let me know!

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