10 Lessons from £0-50K MRR in 24 months
In September 2020 I started building personal brands for founders and CEOs as a freelancer.
In February 2021 I launched my agency ‘Kurogo’
As I now write this in October 2022, we’re a team of 15, have 50-odd clients and have surpassed 50K MRR.
0-50K MRR in 18 months isn’t bad, but I would have done it faster (and with a lot less stress) if I’d known these 10 things at the start.
The advice I’m about to give you can be categorised into a few areas, which I think are the most important areas for growth:
I share them because I don’t want you to have to go through what I went through on the path to 50K/month.
Let’s get into it - mindset first.
You probably yawned when you read that, but it’s true.
Most agency owners - in fact, most people - are not where they want to be because they can’t focus on the right things for long enough.
They get distracted by the next shiny object, new strategy or technique.
Truth is, you have all the knowledge you need.
You don’t need another 10-tips article (ironic, right?).
What you need is application, and that requires focus.
The best thing I ever did for my focus was move to a new city.
In August 2020 I moved to Oxford.
The only person I knew there was my partner, who was in the final year of her degree.
Apart from being a beautiful city, it was the perfect place to focus.
No friends, no partying, no distractions.
I was dialled in with my health, productivity and vision.
All of which are needed to focus properly.
So perhaps find a way to isolate yourself from the distractions of day-to-day life.
Spend some time in a new city or have a month abroad just to focus.
2. By not addressing a slip in standards, you set a new standard
To stay on the road to 50K/month, you have to hold yourself to standards.
You must commit to certain principles and ways of working every day - even more so when you have a team too.
But standards slip.
It happens (even to the best of us).
![Couldn’t help it.](https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/secure.notion-static.com/9f14fca2-cd49-4c7b-a899-bf2547588072/Untitled.png)
Couldn’t help it.
Standards slipping is acceptable.
What’s not acceptable though, is not addressing that slip.
When you don’t address a slip in standards, you set the tone that that is acceptable.
That creates a new, lower standard in itself.
And it will eat away at the quality of your work and results.
As soon as you notice slips in standards you have to address them.
Addressing them maintains the integrity of the standards you’ve set.
They’ve not only been maintained but will be less likely to be breached in the future.
3. Offer is everything
Where else to start than with the offer?
Let’s reduce business down to its most simple form…
At its core, business is a game of value.
Those who provide more value, tend to win the game.
Provide far more value than you charge for in price and you will win too…
The way to provide more value and make your value clear is through your offer.
You have to create something people feel stupid saying no to - where what they’re paying is so disproportionately outweighed by what they get that it would be ridiculous not to open their wallet.
You can do this in two ways:
- Reduce Price
- Provide More Value
ALWAYS choose the second option.
You will win BIG if you have the mindset of, ‘how I can provide more value?’ rather than ‘how can I decrease my price?’
This leads me nicely onto…
4. Charge more
It’s scary I know, but you must charge more.
Crafting a great offer will allow you to do so, but there’s a mindset block to this too, which you need to hurdle.
Look, I’ve charged too little before and it doesn’t help anyone… You, your team, the business, your clients.
No one wins.
You’re strapped for cash trying to deliver work without being able to pay people well enough to do it properly, whilst your client isn’t happy with the results they’re getting. Then when you want to raise the price with a client to fix the issue it’s chicken and egg because you’re not getting results (because you’re charging too little) and it all gets very messy.
Profit is the LIFEBLOOD of business.
Profit means you can hire the best talent and treat them well.
Happy talent = great results.
Profit means you can invest in improving your service.
Improved service = improved results.
Profit means you have a buffer to go over and beyond for clients.
Going above and beyond = amazing results.
And my god it’s less stressful when you’re not pinching pennies…
Charge more, for everyone’s sake.
5. Focus on results.
I spoke about results a lot there. And there’s a reason for that.
Getting great results is the fastest route to SUSTAINABLE growth.
Results make clients stay longer.
Results make for great marketing.
Results encourage referrals.
Results allow upselling.
And vitally, results give you confidence.
The most powerful thing you can have in sales is complete confidence you can get for the prospect.
Results are the best marketing and sales tool you have.
6. Put yourself in the position to ‘get lucky’
To grow, you need to have opportunities to grow…
You can either wait and hope they come or create them for yourself.
I post content across 6 channels between 1 and 3 times a day.
My content is seen by between 200,000 and 3 million people per month. Same with our team.
I send 100 connection requests per week.
I start conversations.
I attend events at an entrepreneurs’ members club.
I hang around hotspots for target clients.
I am simply giving myself more opportunities to ‘get lucky’ or start conversations.
Give yourself more opportunities too.
You got more chance that way - tilting the odds in your favour.
The boring stuff, Operations…
7. Know your numbers
Honestly, your numbers don’t matter that much early on.
I genuinely think you can get to 30-40K/month without having a hold on them.
(I did it, after all…)
But when you want to get from half a million to a million per year and beyond, you’ll wish you had all the numbers since day 1, I assure you.
Half a million to a million requires a lot more planning, security and foresight than 0-40K/month.
Some of those that I’ve found prove most useful
- Close rate
- Sales cycle
- Gross profit
- Net profit
- Profit margins
- Average stay
- Client LTV
Track them now so you can address where the issues are and map 6 months ahead.
8. Train, train, train.
I recently did an exercise where I brainstormed the challenges and goals we had as a business.
Pretty much every time the end solution came back to training the team better.
Your team are the stewards of your business.
Nothing is possible without them and everything rides on them.
So it makes sense to pour your time and attention into making them as good as they can possibly be.
Now, you may be thinking, ‘but I’m hiring these people because I don’t have enough time myself’
Make the time. This is priority.
Because I promise you it will take longer to resolve the 23 client issues and completely transform your culture in 3 months’ time if you don’t.
9. Communication is key
This is a cliche statement, but a true one.
When I look at all our progress and all our problems, they often correlate with how good/bad our communication is.
One important thing to remember here is that there are 3 parts of communication, and they all need to be aligned:
- What you said
- What you meant
- What was interpreted
Remember that they don’t automatically align - you have to make sure they do.
Here are some principles to guide you:
- Never assume
- Always provide clear expectations
- A 6-year-old should be able to understand
- You can under-communicate, but you can’t over-communicate
Finally, a bonus one:
10. Have a vision
As an agency founder, you’re a guide for your team and clients.
They’re expecting you to lead them to a new way of life.
So you need to know what that looks like.
You need a vision, a direction and a plan.
If you have one, people will stick by your side.
If you don’t, you’ll lose people.
And as a parting word of wisdom...
Bonus: Get a mentor
My progress was fast-tracked because I made the commitment to getting help.
Why go through every single possible struggle when I could get someone who has been there and done it before to help me avoid them and accelerate our growth?
I started working with my coach, Olie, when I was making £6K/month.
It's had the highest ROI of anything I've ever done.
Olie showed me how to:
- Position myself as an expert in my industry
- Produce authority-building content
- Turn followers into leads
- Craft a no-brainer offer
- Sell like a pro
And all of that has contributed to our growth.
Olie actually asked me recently to join him as a coach in his Authority Agency program.
So if you'd like help from both Olie and myself showing you how to scale your agency from 10K/month to 30, 40, 50K/month and beyond, it's worth exploring how Authority Agency could help you.
Send me a message on LinkedIn saying 'Authority Agency' and we can have a conversation about how we might be able to help you.
Olie tells me there are 6 more spots left in October.