Why I’m shutting up shop for a few weeks

By Aaron Rudman-Hawkins
March 6, 2020
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Our agency has more than doubled on all fronts over the past 12 months, it’s been a heck of a ride and with that comes strains in all manner of ways.

Recruitment has been a constant focus area. Training and development are another key concern and something we must consistently dedicate a lot of time and energy to.

So, for the start of March I decided to tell the world (via LinkedIn of course) that I’m “shutting up shop” for a few weeks so I can focus internally on developing our existing team and onboarding our new recruits.

In my post I said the following:

“Thanks LinkedIn, it’s been amazing, but I’m shutting up shop for the next few weeks and here is why…

My team and our clients are the most important thing in our business.

We’re doing some great work, achieving some incredible results

But…

We’re not perfect and as we’re growing we need to take a minute to focus internally.

We have new people joining us that will need training on how to do things the “evergreen way”.

Our existing team need continued training, development and guidance.

Our team need my personal support and nurturing.

Our processes and systems need to be continually improved.

Now,

I could be like so many agency owners I see and just let the team figure out all those “details”.

I could just focus on driving the business forward.

I could just focus on just bringing more and more clients onboard to make more money.

I could leave my Head of SEO to train the team and integrate new employees.

But, that isn’t me…

This agency is my baby, the buck stops with me and I will never prioritise new business over our current clients or most importantly my team.

So,

I’m stopping new business.

I’m stopping marketing activities.

I’m focusing purely on my growing team for the next couple months.

Watch the video to discover how and why…”

I think the post sums up well my thinking and the feedback I had on the post was positive.

The point is, any business, and particularly an agency is only as good as the results you’re consistently getting. And the results you get will be a direct reflection of how much time and energy you spend on managing and developing your team.

We’re a small SEO agency, we don’t have layers of management or a HR team and so the training, development and coaching falls firmly on myself and my Head of SEO – as it should.

As we approached the end of February and took stock of the first 2 months of this new decade, I decided now felt like a good time to pause for a moment or as someone I know put it, which I loved:

“You’re slowing down, so you can speed up”

I think that sums it up perfectly.

I want The Evergreen Agency and everyone in it to feel confident, happy and content in their roles knowing they have my full support.

As I write this on a Friday afternoon, our latest recruit is 5 days in. I took her (Georgie) out for a coffee yesterday and while chatting she gave me some lovely feedback on how welcoming and supportive everyone had been in her first week.

Georgie also referred to a couple passing comments from me in the week during team meetings, which she said spoke volumes about our approach and emphasis on supporting our team – that kind of feedback from someone barely a week in, is testament to why we do what we do here.

I’d encourage any business owner to put as much time and energy into training and developing your team and also ensure anyone new being added to your time know that you are there to support them 100%. In my experience this emphasis on your team will be paid back many times over.

Now, off I go to continue my focus of “slowing down, so I can speed up” in the months ahead…