Know This: A ‘Head Down’ Approach to Business Almost Always Wins
In April 2014, Good Monster — my digital agency, which at the time was a video production/marketing agency — had its worst month ever.
We were stuck between three big jobs in which we got paid half upfront and half after completion. The problem was that all three projects happened to be dragged out for several months.
It wasn’t a good spot to be in when you have to pay your employees regularly. Oh, and eat.
But, it taught me a valuable lesson. Recurring income is the key to every successful business. After that
But even though I knew what we had to do, the transition took a lot of effort, time and resources. Not only did we have to train staff, create procedures, shift or daily, weekly and monthly planning, but we also had to somehow quickly brand ourselves as more than just a video production company that can do some marketing.
But with a ‘head-down’ approach to restructuring our brand, it worked.
For about 8 months we were stagnant. We were making changes, working on projects for free to build credibility, trying to target new clients…and then something happened; but not what you think.
I had noticed that my business partner at the time was not as involved in the business as I was. He was kind of just going through the motions, and not emotionally involved in what the company was doing. So I sat him down and asked him what he really wanted.
Do you want to run a company?
I asked him flat out if he wanted the responsibility of owning and managing a company. His response?
No, not really.
So, then there was that.
On top of restructuring, my business partner and videographer decided he didn’t want to own, or work for the company anymore.
So what do I do now that 50% of a small company (and the entire video team) is leaving?
The only thing I could do.
Get to fucking work.
I decided that unlike 80% of the other companies that don’t make it to 3 years (or whatever the statistic is) I was not going to fail — I just wasn’t.
So let me tell you what it’s like to be an entrepreneur:
- I worked 16 hour days to develop a social media-focused agency
- I moved back in with parents to make payroll
- I took out another credit card to pay my bills
- I stopped paying certain bills because, well, I couldn’t
These were just a few things that I had to do if I was going to keep my business alive. But it worked.
At the start of 2015, we started to find our first clients who wanted to hire us on retainer; or rather they found us.
The hard work I had put in was finally paying off. Businesses were contacting us for social media strategies, website optimization, SEO and other online visibility services.
Today we are growing faster than ever before, we are hiring everyone from web designers to videographers and there is a clear view to the top from where we sit.
Life is good as a ‘Good Monster’.
Read more at http://jtimmerman.com