Laptop Lifestyle Living
Laptop Lifestyle Living

Why I started a Digital Agency

It Just So Happens I launched a digital agency

I can honestly say it’s not been a lifelong ambition to run a company, because that would be a lie. I’ve seen too many friends and family have less than pleasant experiences. One thing for certain though, was as the years went on, I knew more and more about what I didn’t want from a job/ company to work for. And more and more about the type of Boss / Leader that I didn’t work well with and also that I didn’t want to be. 

It Just So Happens I needed time.

One of my biggest bugs was time. 

I’ve also been known as “fast talking” and “smash through tasks”. It’s not through a fear of “desk clearing”, but more an obsession with time management and therefore having a skill of being able to “get in the zone” and power through. Great, however, this really got me nowhere in the corporate world or working for someone else because if a task took me 2 hours or 2 days – my pay remained the same. 

Freelance life was lonely … being a Full Stack Marketeer means covering everything so when you are busy with work, you have no time to do business development and when you are doing business development – you can’t pay the bills.

Queue the pandemic. I had relocated to Thailand for what was turning into one of the most challenging jobs, and working with a diverse team. Unfortunately, the company ran out of money and was struggling to secure investment as fast as the pandemic was creeping across the world, which meant the staff (myself included) stopped getting paid and were asked to continue to work. The nature of the business was healthcare so it was a very difficult decision to decide to stop working as this impacted people’s real lives. However, 6 months without pay, savings rinsed, credit cards obliterated, the world in lockdown and now considering selling organs to pay rent … The perfect storm was about to be.

What's stopping you launching your own digital agency?

A very close friend of mine said “what’s stopping you” to which I was silenced (this never happens). Off I go, on the phone to my father and business mentor to ask him the exact same question … the answer was nothing. A few hours later … name, logo, registered URL and landing page were up. Did I launch a business? 

It Just So Happens running a business is not for the faint hearted

I say this with all love and respect. I thought I knew what I was in for having been a Manager, a Director – running large teams, a freelancer and even family members and friends with their own business … but nothing can prepare you. Just when you think you’ve got everything under control and it’s going to be a smoother sail, that’s when another tidal wave just swoops right in. 

People are the priority for It Just So Happens because if we don’t have the talent, we can’t deliver anything. This is something always in my mind and networking isn’t only for new business, but for new talent. The agency model for It Just So Happens is built on freelancers – uncommon for most agencies globally, but actually a common practise in the building industry.

It Just So Happens ... We're Beyond The Obvious ...

Key Requirements for a running a remote digital agency

  • Communication – A virtual agency depends on having clear and honest communications with each other. During a project, you have to follow timelines and processes, and meet your deadlines to each other and to the client. 
  • Trust – A virtual agency is built on trust. This is no place for flakiness—you have to be able to depend on each other. Promises must be kept.
  • Time Management – You need to give each other time and breathing space. If you’re going to see a client and need another team member on the job, they need to know ahead of time, so they can commit, or let you know they can’t handle it.

Learnings for anyone wanting to start an online business

macbook pro laptop closed with the apple logo visible positioned to the left side of the photo. on the right hand side of the photo is a grey cap with a rabbit logo embroidered and the text embroidered as well reading It Just So Happens
  • Boundaries

    Just because you can be connected all the time, doesn’t mean you should be - this is a lot harder said than done and especially as you see a new little notification appear on Slack. Your mental and physical health needs it.

  • True friends

    Real friends will understand when you miss social events to keep your head down and hustle. True friends won't appear out of the woodwork for a piece of your pie once you're already successful.

  • It's a real company

    Although your business is online, you will still need to be registered somewhere. You also need to invest time and money in parts of the business which need the skills and could cost you more in the long term - e.g. Accountants and Lawyers.

  • Company culture

    Whether a client interaction or building the team; know your values and stick to them. If you compromise on these, the only person who will feel the pinch is you.