10 Business Lessons Learned Running an Ad Agency

If you want to get an MBA from the streets, learn how to run an advertising agency. If you don’t know me, I’m Arsham Mirshah, one of two co-founders of WebMechanix. We’re coming up on 10 years in business. In that time, I’ve grown a thriving, nearly-50 employee digital marketing agency (with equal help from my co-founder, Chris Mechanic). WebMechanix has grown from an idea in a townhouse to one of the top-ranked agencies in the DC/MD/VA area according to Clutch.co and other directories. Along the way, I’ve learned running an agency might very well be the hardest business to run. With that, comes countless business lessons. Here are ten of the most important lessons in entrepreneurship, one for each year of business. Discipline One of my biggest discoveries as a CFO is that you must establish a rigid, recurring routine. For me, a strict routine means knowing: Every Tuesday, we get and process checks and update Account Receivables. Every Wednesday, we do collections. Every Thursday, we look at collections, see who is overdue, and tell the marketing team to stop working on tasks for those who are overdue. Every Friday, we look at cash flow and expenses, so we can print checks based on the cash available. Every week, I know what to do every single day, and I do the same tasks. I don’t care if there’s a tornado or hurricane, we do what we planned to do based on the schedule we established. It’s why I stress the importance of having a routine. Discipline also translates to evaluating reports. I look at the Profit & Loss statement at least once a week. If there’s a spike, I find out what went wrong [...]