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25 Lessons from running Steadfast Collective.

October 18th, 2021

[This post originally posted on Linked in in 2020]

Back in May Steadfast Collective turned 5 years old.

These are my personal thoughts on the crucial lessons I've learnt over the last five years of running Steadfast Collective; a development studio.

1. Start with your why. Running any business is hard; know your why.

2. Have an excellent co-founder to help share the stress.

3. Build your support network to include those with experience.

4. Be open and transparent with everyone.

5. Having the right team on the bus will get you 80% of the way there.

6. Other agencies aren't the enemy; they're allies.

7. Hiring is hard.  

8. Having better client legal processes in place is freeing, not restrictive.

9. Burnout is real, and it takes time to recover.

10. Culture isn't beanbags and beer; it's trust and purpose.

11. The feeling of winning new work is great.

12. The feeling of delivering work is better.

13. When setting a new policy, give it a timeframe so you can test and revert.

14. Most clients would rather you over-communicate. 

15. As the MD, you have the ability to be the most disruptive member of your team.

16. Know your teams' strengths and weaknesses. 

17. People will always pay late. Don't expect your cashflow forecast ever to be 100% correct.

18. Generating leads is hard. We have a story, and we tell it through various content.

19. Thank those who refer work to you.

20. Keep in touch with that network. Be thoughtful; send cards, emails and book regular calls.

21. Hire an accountant.

22. Even if you're using Xero, hire an accountant.

23. Know which work not to take on.

24. Removing yourself (as the MD) from 'production' work allows you to grow. 

25. Trust your instinct.