Operating as a sole trader provides plenty of benefits in a work and personal sense, but failing to capitalise upon opportunities to grow beyond this can result in your business stagnating.
Nathan Ruff knows all too well what this is like.
Ruff is the managing director of Urban Geek Media, a digital specialist dedicated to connecting brands with male consumers. The business has been established for more than five years.
Urban Geek boasts more than three million unique browsers a month across 15 male-skewed online publishers, covering entertainment, sports, gaming, video and technology.
Ruff says he started Urban Geek after becoming “exposed to the joys of online media” in his previous job. However, he failed to plan accordingly.
“When I started Urban, I very much neglected thinking about growing it – I thought it was a good size operation as a one-man consultant,” Ruff says.
“Generally, when you get out of the corporate world, you get approached by creative and entrepreneurial people [so I didn’t struggle to get work].”
“I was getting caught up in the lifestyle and work/life balance, which is very much a good thing and a bad thing, to the point where I thought, ‘This is something I can do for a few years’.”
“I didn’t think about getting bigger and I never really had a growth plan. I never got it out of my head the fact that it could be anything bigger.”
Ruff’s entry into a rapidly expanding market only exacerbated his failure to put growth plans in place.