Growing a business too fast

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Mitchel White is the CEO & Founder of LeftMedia, a marketing agency based in Manchester working with manufacturing businesses in the North West.

Biggest fuck up? 

Growing too quickly.

Lots of business owners will tell you how many staff they employ, how much turnover they made last year and how big their……office is. They’re all vanity measures. Profit isn’t talked about much, and it’s often something some people try to avoid so the tax man doesn’t get anything at the end of the year.

At LeftMedia, we took on a huge 1200 sq ft studio space in Trafford Park (it was beautiful), but two people look a bit daft when they were sat at opposite ends of the room, and it was very, very expensive. Especially as a small growing business.

Luckily, we managed to get out of a 3-year lease with a bit of persuasion, and we’re now being much more sensible using a co-working space in Manchester City Centre.

Lightbulb moment

I am always reading, I’m surprised my brain has any room left sometimes the amount I read, but when I read Profit First by Mike Michalowicz, it really did change the way I think. It was more of an exploding lightbulb scaring the shit out of you moment.

The book teaches you that you should be taking profit from your business before expenses, turning the traditional revenue minus costs equals profit model on its head.

Since that lightbulb moment, I’ve changed the way I think about business and making money. Any unnecessary expenses have been cut, and it’s unsurprisingly satisfying to see your profits grow, relieving massive pressure.

Useful advice

Read Profit First (the book I mentioned above).

David Arden at My Accountancy Place gave me a copy of Oversubscribed by Daniel Priestley. It’s honestly one of the best books I’ve read in a while, explaining how people like Glastonbury can sell out tickets within minutes, yet most of us struggle to fill a free conference. The learnings from this book, combined with some new ways of working from Profit First, have changed my mindset massively, which is having a really positive effect at LeftMedia.

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