Broaden Service Offering
When I joined, Barnum was a lucrative and elaborate freelance operation. The goal was simple — grow. The first point of focus was expanding the core service offering to include higher value brand, digital, and content solutions. As net revenue increased, team growth followed. Rinse and repeat without losing focus.
Stake Your Claim
When the recession hit in 2008 we lost half our business in what seemed overnight. While access to capital precipitously dropped off a cliff, the number of entrepreneurial endeavors increased. For those suffering in pursuit of their passion, a little more pain or additional challenges have little impact. We staked our claim — then and there. We focused our entire business on entrepreneurship; from pre-product ideas to mature privately-held businesses that had plateaued.
Transition the Agency Model
The goal was simple — increase risk as much as possible. Mitigate that risk through strategic partnership. It was a slow turn, and we never abandoned client service, but we did start the process of developing a venture studio that partnered with entrepreneurs at the idea stage. We brought our team to bear, in support of the founders’ vision, and helped shape the brand, go-to-market, and digital presence (and/or mvp product).
After eight years leading the firm, I initiated three of five acquisition opportunities and the company successfully merged with a managed-services agency — our catalytic innovation and their marketing savvy was a recipe for success.