You’ve created a business, nurtured it and grown it. You’re proud of your baby.
But you may have hit a ceiling or things aren’t quite as easy as they used to be. Maybe you’re trying to kick on but each time something different seems to be getting in the way. Perhaps you’re going gang-busters but feel like you need a sounding board.
And it’s when you wake at night, the gremlins begin to gather.
Clients are more demanding than ever; it seems impossible to find talent as motivated as you are; it feels like you’re giving away the valuable stuff; you can get new business, or keep your promises to clients, but rarely both at the same time; for the first time you’re thinking about ‘proposition’ (or worse, you aren’t); despite higher revenues, you’re making less profit; you’re working harder for less – and frankly not enjoying it like you used to. Perhaps you set the business up with a partner and it doesn’t feel like it used to. Worst of all, you may even be starting to doubt your credentials to be leading this business.
Or things are going really well, but you need to start prioritising, you’re being stretch too thin; where do you find time to create the policies, processes and frameworks you know you’ll need to keep growing; you’ve got questions about a key hire; is everyone pulling in the same direction; when did culture become an issue (or even a thing?); should you have a rate card; how come that new agency is beating you in pitches; how do you say ‘no’ to procurement departments; is it reasonable to offer enhanced mat cover; what is everyone else doing – and does that work? When did “working for yourself” become just working?
If any of this resonate for you, we should have a chat.
etc Advisory was set up to help founders like you to help you make better decisions and unleash your agency’s potential. To arm you with the confidence to back your own instincts.
The fundamental principles of etc were developed by Andy Brown over a twenty-five year period as a founder, agency head, working in agency leadership teams and as an advisor and coach to agency leaders.
More about Andy
My whole career has been spent working in creative service businesses. I’ve served on the board in advertising and brand agencies, digital media, direct response and research businesses. I’ve learned a lot about winning business, understanding clients and building organisations where enabling talented people to thrive has led to profitable growth.
Whatever the challenge, my focus tends to be on the individual. How can we give them the best environment for delivering a solution to the hundreds of challenges that arise every day when running a small business.
I’ve trained in Quality of Mind, so my straight talking comes from a place of honesty and care. My coaching approach is based on the Co-Active principles.
I hate being late, I love analogies and metaphors and I’m fascinated by the way people behave. I firmly believe that the journey is as important as the destination. I have been referred to in the past as “Clarity Brown” and those who work with me would know that I really am irritated when people confuse responsibility with accountability. It is possible that I have an addiction to whiteboards.
I firmly believe in the power of being outside and my special interest is walking in the countryside – ‘rambling on’ as some people have called it. I’ll haul on my boots and walk as often as I can – sometimes by myself and sometimes with others. Over the years I’ve found that getting out of an office (or away from a conference call) and walking side by side is a great way for me to connect with my clients and for them to be able to share very openly and candidly. No notes, no pads, no whiteboards – just two or three people walking, talking, sharing.
I’ve built this into the etc approach and encourage all of my clients to find the time to walk with me if they can. These walks don’t have to be in stunning countryside, I’ve had amazing times with clients whilst simply wandering round a city. They don’t have to be long walks – just long enough to unplug and really connect. They don’t even need to be planned. A spontaneous decision to walk can have as much impact as a long planned route planned using a trusty OS map.
If this approach interests you, look out for ‘Rambling On Goes Wild’, my walking/talking event for business leaders. We hope to hold a walk in Autumn 2021.
PS It may be true that people say I ‘ramble on’ for other reasons – I choose to think that it is because they know I love walking. Somehow, Rambling On has also become the name of my newsletter.