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7 Truths to Running a Multi-Million Dollar BusinessJanuary - 2016

AE Marketing: Brian Walker

In today’s hyper-digital world, I often remind others that it pays to take an occasional pause and assess how far you’ve come in whatever business or personal journey you’ve embarked upon.

With 2015 now in the books, I chose to take my own advice this week and look at the company that I founded inside a 5×5 walk-in closet in Chicago’s South Loop back in early 2011. What have I learned from our successes — and our failures — over the past five years? And, more importantly for you, how can these lessons be applied to your own entrepreneurial journey?

Lesson #1: Show Me the Money

I never realized how much my formal sales training and background would come in handy until I decided to build a company. From day one, the goal for our marketing and branding agency was simple: Build revenue. Nothing else mattered.

Revenue to a business is like the fuel required to drive a car — without it, you aren’t going anywhere.

With that early focus on growing our revenue versus building our brand, AE Marketing Group quickly jumped from $0 to $250K. Then revenues climbed over $500K, and by year-end, we signed our biggest contract of 2011 for more than $700K.

We never slowed down. Momentum is everything when trying to grow a start-up. But, we didn’t overcomplicate things either. Instead of setting overly aggressive goals, we focused on consistent growth, quarter after quarter after quarter. We just kept grinding it out.

This past year, we exceeded our 2015 forecast with record revenue, up 31 percent from the prior year, and we signed our largest contract in company history for just under $2M.
The mistake many startups often make is to get bogged down with process, product and getting a pitch just right instead of getting out and selling. Once revenue starts coming in consistently, you not only will be in a stronger business position, but also will be able to evaluate your next move with clarity.

Continue reading AE Marketing Group CEO Brian Walker’s latest Medium piece, simply by clicking here …

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