HAMSTER WHEEL: “The Agency Can Run Smoothly Without Me”

Tue 9 Nov 2021 10:00 am UK Time

Joe Perkins started his agency so he could work how he wanted, where he wanted.
• But that didn’t exactly go to plan…
• Join us as the MD of Chaptr tells us all about his journey to working fewer hours a day, and why they have more value.

Joe Perkins always had the intention of working on his own terms… find out how he stepped off the hamster wheel and ensured his working hours have more meaning.

“For me, it was all about being able to work on my own terms. Otherwise, what’s the point?”

This is the reason why Joe Perkins, founder and MD of web design agency Chaptr, started his agency in the first place. However, he soon realised that the work-life balance he aimed for wasn’t going to happen if he didn’t take a step back.

“Like most business owners, I was trying to do everything at once,” he says. “I was being pulled from loads of different directions, and things were piling up.”

So, Joe made the first move towards stepping off the hamster wheel: hiring a non-billable team member as a studio manager.

“It freed up a lot of my time,” he says. “It made me realise that I actually could remove myself from the core element of our business – the client satisfaction part.”

Slowly but surely, Joe started to detach himself from his duties, beginning by handing over the smaller projects.

“Within a year, I was fully confident that she was reliable, competent and could handle all of the client services,” he explains.

This meant Joe could focus on bringing in new business and being a great leader for his team.

But with the arrival of his new-born baby, Joe realised that he could potentially step even further away from the business.

“The time I spend on the business now is super focused,” Joe says. “I’m sending a couple of warm outreach emails, or I’m working on a one-page proposal.”

“I’ve noticed this last month, as my time has been squeezed, that I can trim that down even more.”

Now, instead of a 9 to 5, Joe works in short bursts, giving him the freedom and time to support his wife and his two sons.

“I’m not looking to exit, but any future exit strategy would rely on an agency that isn’t dependent on me,” says Joe. “I’m not fully removed, but the day-to-day stuff can definitely run smoothly without me.” Join us as Joe tells us all about his journey to working fewer hours a day, and why they have more value.