Building A Business In Reverse

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Hey guys,

Fri 16 July

Morning again!

I had a chat with a friend of mine yesterday Axel who said something interesting which deserves some exploration.

I spoke to him about my strategy of building out websites and then building operations once the leads start to come in and he said ‘ah you’re kind of doing things in reverse aren’t you?’.

‘Normally – businesses have a field of expertise which they come from and based upon they begin marketing their services.’

It struck home to me when he said that because I thought about the way I started Pearl Lemon.

When we started life as a digital marketing agency I’d never worked for another agency before so had no experience of it. Furthermore, I’d never done anything b2b in the past.

So many aspects of building Pearl Lemon were entirely new to me – and I had to figure out things as I went along.

This involved LOTS of turbulence, LOTS of learning on the job and LOTS of mistakes made along the way (and that’s far from over).

It’s a cliche of course – but regularly we learn something new whether it’s from a client comment, our own insights or something we read online.

Correspondingly – the same is true of any other business unit.

If you read my blogs then you’ll know on the cold-calling front we’re in the trenches right now trying to build an entire new business to support the strides we’ve made on the lead front on this side.

Now – it’s not to say that we go into anything that we do completely blind.

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Any business I ‘fancy’ having a go at always comes from personal experience – that’s exactly how Pearl Lemon started and how the newer brands will keep growing.

But it’s amazing what happens when you become a t-shaped marketer (i.e develop one specific skill and get pretty good at it).

In my instance, that’s SEO (and again that’s very relative – there are many many others who are much much better at it than me).

I’ve got good enough ‘at it’ to start overtaking multiple other businesses especially in ‘non-SEO’ niches – which is where you can exploit your education even further.

It’s like being a trained British Infantry soldier and playing paintball with gamers. Or a semi-professional footballer playing football with Sunday-league footballers.

These are the comparisons and benefits that come from developing expertise in a niche.

Now the beautiful thing with this is that once you can apply your marksman skills to other niches – you begin to get other opportunities put in front of you.

So now we’re in the lead-generation niche and competing against agencies that have been doing this for decades and we’re doing our best to catch up and then overtake them.

Naturally, it’s no small task – but in many ways, we also have inherent competitive advantages that we come to the same game with.

This would be our India data mining team, this would (ofc) be the SEO side of it, alongside our distributed team across the world.

Alongside the ability to understand, manage and deal with chaos along the way.

It’s going to be interesting to see the coming months and years play out as we build out more and more websites that we turn into fully-fledged businesses and then some 🙂

One of the things I do recognise as being true is that – when you’re growing fast – expect chaos.

And that is certainly what opportunities that we carve out for ourselves represent 🙂