Weds 25 Jan 2023 11:00am UK time

• For a lot of agency founders, your business feels like your baby. So, knowing when to let go and pass on the reigns can be a tough cookie to crack.
But for Matt Beswick, co-founder of digital agency Aira, it was almost planned from the start. Now his team are “flourishing” without him.
In this session, Matt shares his story of stepping down from his agency, and the reasons why he felt it was his time.

Matt now spends just one working day a week on the business

“Once you get to a certain size, it’s not just you against the world anymore,” says Matt Beswick, co-founder of Aira. “It’s this living, breathing company with a complete mind of its own, that you can’t really control.”

For a lot of agency founders, your business feels like your baby.

  • You pour all your time, money, and effort into it.
  • You spend countless hours worrying about it when you’re not there.
  • And you find it hard to know when to let go.

But for Matt, there’s always been an understanding that he would step down at some point.  

“When we first started the business, my co-founder and I said to each other, ‘If one of us wants to do things differently at some point, then we’ll have a conversation about it and see if we can make it work’,” he says.

Shortly after, Aira was approached for an acquisition. Although they didn’t go through with it, it prompted the founders to have that conversation much earlier than planned – and discuss what things would look like if one of them stepped down.

“I’ve always been of the opinion that at some point, I wanted to make myself redundant,” Matt says. “I was getting there before COVID, and then obviously shit hit the fan.”

 Since then, the agency has made multiple senior hires, including a head of innovation, a head of delivery and a head of finances – who Matt says are all “absolutely killing it.”

“That was one of the key drivers for the timing,” he says. “We had a couple of people who were itching for promotions, and some were very close to hitting what we call ‘associate director’. So, it felt natural because these people also needed to step up.”

“It was probably the best thing about doing it. I’ve seen people who were able to take on the roles that they wanted for a very long time, and absolutely smash it. Me stepping back has let them flourish.”

Now Matt only spends one day working on Aira and lets his team sort out the rest.

Come along to hear the full story of how Matt stepped back from his business, the reasons why he felt it was his time, and how the agency has been (albeit slightly annoyingly) thriving without him.