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February 16, 2021

What five years in business taught us

On day one you don’t realize how quickly the years will fly by. I think we all have areas of our life where we believe it’s going to be a long time, but really it goes by so fast. 

Think about four years in college, having your first kid, or moving to a new city. All of those events seem like a big deal, and they are, but the days seem long and the years pass in a blink of an eye. 

Aaron and Christian - College years circa 2009

Five years ago we incorporated our business to what it is known as today… BitBranding, LLC (We never really use the LLC) 

Christian signing one of our first contracts

In this blog post I want to share 5 major takeaways from business that you can use to grow. But even if you don’t own a business, I think there are going to be some key life takeaways. 

  1. Success is using your God given talents and doing what you love 

How we defined success changed over the years. I remember when we were just starting out in a pink and green room back in Rowlett, Texas we just needed clients. We needed people who believed in what we were doing and would hand us money. Christian had super long hair at the time and we worked mostly through Facetime and Google docs as I was in Rowlett and Christian was in Claremore, Oklahoma. 


Christian in our first "office"

As I am writing this Christian and I made a decision to pay ourselves out of an account where we had a surplus of monies saved up and instead of just leaving it there to sit we decided to invest in ourselves and our families.
 
I hope at the time this is released Christian has already proposed to Maegan, but if not, spoiler alert, he is going to propose to his girlfriend. 

Christian proposing to Maegan

I’m currently car shopping with my wife Brianna, we need a larger vehicle to support our growing family. (We bought the car)

Aaron and Brianna purchasing their new family car

Both of those scenarios were not possible even two years ago, but we have allowed ourselves to stay humble and grow the business so that it can eventually provide for our lives. 

Company growth is important because it provides the lifestyle we want to live, provides for our employees and impacts the world, but if we lose ourselves in the process it is all for not. 

Create something that makes you happy, provides the lifestyle that you want and need in your life and makes an impact on the world. If you check those boxes, you’re doing a lot right. 

  1. To truly grow and scale a business you must have people, processes, and profit

As we look back, hindsight is 20/20, but we made decisions based off of the short-term in the beginning instead of what our next 6-12 months would look like. Because we made that type of decision it allowed us to build a structured machine, but also slowed growth. Early on we decided to hire and begin working on what would be our first round of standard operating procedures, this allowed us to take on more work and provide a consistent product for our customers. 

What we learned was that, for us anyway, we needed to stop recreating the wheel and turn this into a company instead of a full-time side hustle, which meant we had to change our mindset and stop doing the same things that got us to the level we were at. These tough decisions allowed us to step back and really think about what needs to be written down, how it should be done so that when we hire we can continue in stride without taking steps backwards. 

2020 has been a weird year for us and probably for you too depending on when you are reading this. In our business it has given us a lot of opportunities to reflect on what worked and what did not and because we were prepared and created our operating procedures we were able to move to remote work without a hitch. This allowed us to continue to serve our customers and provide a quality of service that they deserved.  

May 2020 - Weekly pulse (management meeting)

But the one area that is most valuable to us and should be for anyone in business, which is profit. Without profit we are not able to grow. Most people tell you their top line revenue number, which sounds great, but if they lost money that doesn’t do anyone any good. You should be more focused on how much profit is left in your bank account at the end of each month, quarter, and year as this is the true test of the health of your business and your growth.

  1. Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster and it is not for everyone, and that’s okay.

Even 10 years ago it wasn’t as ‘cool’ to be an entrepreneur, heck most people were told to not go into business because it was super risky and had no stability. Honestly, it is risky and it can cause uncertainty in a lot of areas of your life. As I write this I would challenge you to think about what you truly want because you may be able to get it without risking anything and starting your own business. 

How can you be a #2 at a company or move up into the ranks at a local business or corporation? If you’re looking for flexibility, freedom, and consistent cash flow, you probably won’t get that from a business in the beginning and some people never make it there. Now, if you’re one who wants to carve their own path and doesn’t mind risk or a little suffering to make your dreams come true, then by all means, set out a path to start your business. 

The overall overarching theme here is that you should not let society dictate your happiness or what you pursue in your life, do what makes you happy and aligns with your goals. 

  1. Failure is not an IF but a WHEN... how you define it is most important 

You probably have read online or heard some people talking about failure and you have mixed emotions about what that means, especially as you’re going through it. But what you will come to find out is that after time, those failures actually pushed you farther forward than the successes. 

At BitBranding we started out offering multiple services to every different type of business and tried to be everything to everyone. It wasn’t until we got a little hitch in our giddy up that we decided to step back and realize that niching down and productizing our services was going to be what propelled us forward. Changing the way we offered our services was going to help us stand out. 

BitBranding's Signature Services

As I'm writing this, a confirmation about failure happened. Which is that we cannot fail. There will only be successes, growth, or opportunities to learn. When you’re going through life or business our minds get in the way and we can’t tell the difference between reality and dreams. 

But we can use that to our advantage by dreaming and planning bigger. The bigger our dreams and the bigger our goals the more our minds have to change to adapt to those changes. 

So, understand what ‘failure’ is and quickly move on to what it really means, which is a new way to grow much bigger than you anticipated.

  1. Customer experience is the unsung hero to true business growth 

No one talks about experience as much because it isn’t as sexy. Think back to the last Facebook ad you saw for your business. It was probably focused on generating more leads, accelerating growth, or building the business. We honestly did a lot of the same things as everyone else too and focused on only those flash words, but what we have come to realize even recently is that experience is so much more important. 

Our first Local Marketing Academy

We have been working with one client since the very beginning and have done a variety of things for them. Building their website, posting on social media, consulting, and more recently running campaigns for their advertising. To be honest, there were sometimes where they didn’t know if they were going to keep us around not because we didn’t do great work, but because we didn’t communicate as clearly as we should have or kept them in the loop about what we were doing. 

After we made the change in communication and talked to them about the best way to communicate to them, it helped our relationship flourish and they are now one of our best clients. 

Although this is a business blog post, I do hope that you are able to grab some key nuggets for yourself personally. Use your God given talents, put the right people in your life, build a process around what works, life is a roller coaster - enjoy the ride, failure is a way to grow faster, and focus on life experiences. 

A special thank you to our staff, spouses, friends, and community for trusting in us. 
Cheers to the next 5 years! 

BitBranding team photo - December 2020


Our wingwomen... Brianna and Maegan


BitBranding's ribbon cutting with the Allen Fairview Chamber of Commerce

Cheers to the next 5 years


Aaron Pearson
Managing Director

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