• An exit plan is nothing unusual for an agency leader.
• But sometimes, stepping away from the business sooner than planned can be a good thing. This is what Mark Alford discovered just last year.
• He’ll be telling us why it’s important to step back from your business, and about the positive impact it has had on his agency.
An exit plan is nothing unusual for an agency leader.
But sometimes, stepping away from the business sooner than planned can be a good thing. This is what Mark Alford discovered just last year.
“It’s very simple. My marriage ended, and I had very few choices in terms of where I could go and what I could do,” explains the director of Managed Language.
“I found myself sofa surfing and completely unable to participate in everyday work and had to rely 100% on my team. I ended up not in the business for quite a period of time.”
“I was working on the business, but I wasn’t involved on a daily basis – there were six months where I just ran away and hid.”
The agency’s exit strategy had already been activated prior to this, with two team members, Richard and Mariana, being promoted to joint MDs. But Mark’s need to be further away from the business ramped things up significantly.
“It was a bit like COVID. We suddenly had to do things far sooner than we’d planned, and I had to relinquish control far more quickly than I’d expected,” he explains.
“The original plan was a three-to-five-year plan, with the two MDs taking full control within that time. The truth is, they’ve had full control effectively since March 2022.”
So, what did spending six months out of the business do for the agency?
- There was a lot of positive change. “They completely reworked the website, changed our positioning and our offer to market, and recruited and hired some very clever people that they’d identified would make a difference to the business.”
- They’ve delivered huge results. “Since taking the reins, they’ve effectively doubled our profit while also growing sales by 32%.”
- Mark now has more freedom as an agency owner. “I pretty much work when I feel like it. I only do the things that I need to do, and I still have involvement with the finances, but day-to-day, I have absolutely nothing to do with it.”
“I’m learning all the time. It’s been a real voyage of discovery,” says Mark. “It’s probably been the hardest year of my life in personal terms – but in business terms, it’s been amazing.”
“The moral of the story is to get out of the way of your own business.”
Come along and hear more about Mark’s story and why stepping back and away from his agency was the best thing to happen for his business to thrive.