Year one of going full-time with my own marketing company has come to an end. It’s been an incredible experience so far and it’s not slowing down anytime soon!
Creating a new company can be incredibly overwhelming to start. It used to keep me up at night wondering if I had what it took or not to be a business owner. I kept pushing through and it’s been going really well recently.
How It Started
Last October I had just graduated from Lambda School and I had the option to join Font Awesome as a software developer. Unfortunately, something happened that delayed me from joining their team for another month. Instead of looking for another job the Font Awesome team still offered me enough work to hold me over.
After a short period of time working with Font Awesome as a contracted software developer, I decided to go full time in the marketing company I’ve had for a few years. I picked up a handful of clients locally and some remote ones too! This included one I had done content creation (writing) for over the past few years that’s based in India.
I decided to find some long term contracts and slowly grow my agency with more consistency instead of one-off contracts.
I started doing work with Design Bombs (and their other sites) and Font Awesome when I first began my agency. I had my fair share of one-off contracts also.
Most one-off contracts were website development, SEO, and content creation (commercials & articles) which all lead to other one-off contracts for the same people.
Most Valuable Lesson From The Start
There’s no question about what the biggest takeaway was for me from starting my company until now. It’s that networking is the most important thing when starting pretty much any company. You’ll want mentors, people to ask questions to, people who also do what you do, and a lot of other people who might use your services in the future. Friends are always important while running a company.
I can’t express how crucial networking is as a business owner and especially as an owner of a marketing company. People need you but they don’t like salesman so make a relationship and provide value.
How It’s Going
It’s been going strong for the past five or six months now. I can’t complain! While there is still a hindrance from the pandemic it’s not as bad as it was in the previous months.
Overall, my bottom line is in a great place, Font Awesome uses me as their content creator/media department under contract, I’m still working with Design Bombs making videos for them, and I’ve got two partners who I work with often.
Something that’s been thrown around for the past few months with my partners is the idea of merging our three separate companies into one to allow us to grow better. I love the idea because hiring someone as a solo entrepreneur is difficult. Having the three of us working together will allow me to spend a smaller amount to hire someone.
Beyond that, my only concern is “what if everyone doesn’t pull their full weight?” as is a common question with any mergers or starting businesses with partners. While I don’t think it’s something that could happen because both of my partners seem to be pretty reliable I’m not sure how the company could change them.
As we all know, money changes people.
Here’s a few questions I have had to answer so far to help me understand if the merger is the right move for me and with my two partners.
What roles do we each have?
We have a sales guy, a Zoho creator, and me, a software engineer and content creator.
What’s the split?
33.333% (repeating) for each of us.
What happens if we just have a hard time and can’t see ourselves working together anymore?
I’m requesting a buyout clause in my contract that states if I am unhappy in my contract I can choose to quit and have my share be bought out based on the overall revenue and worth of the company. That way you can’t be screwed by your partners.
What’s the plan for growth?
We want to hire someone for each of us as needed. This would start with sales and move onto development. We already use a part-time assistant to help two of us send out quotes and proposals to potential clients. This greatly helps free both of us up to spend more time doing what we need to do. Meaning I get to work on projects and he gets to work on sales more. Plus we only contract this assistant for 4 hours a week right now so it’s perfect!
Where will we find work?
This has partly been answered already. From a sales team. The other side of it is from Upwork, Fiverr, and Writers.work. Other avenues will become more prevalent as we continue through the process. A couple of others to mention would be Facebook & LinkedIn.
The merger will go live on January 1, 2021 for tax purposes, of course. We are meeting with advisors throughout the month of November to set everything up so come the first of the year all we have to do is sign the papers.
Wrapping It Up
This could be the start of something amazing!…or it could be a total flop. Who knows, honestly. I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t think there was some great potential in it but only time will tell.
I’m excited to see what the future holds and I’ve been using my marketing company as a vehicle to get me closer to other life goals I’ve always wanted to achieve. Things like streaming games, creating an education company that I hope to rival college since I hate college, and much more! Let’s see how it all plays out going forward.
Until then, much love ❤