Over a decade ago, Gareth Squire and I founded our fledgling company Fundraising Consultants Ltd.
And like many great businesses, the company started over a coffee at the kitchen table.
Before we knew it, we had both waved goodbye to the world of employment and Fundraising Consultants Ltd was born.
The move from employed to self-employed certainly wasn’t one for the faint hearted, especially as we had a mortgage and four little mouths to feed.
Fast forward to 2022. Fundraising Consultants Ltd has grown beyond all expectations. The company portfolio now boasts hundreds of charities and employs a growing team of associate consultants. And we had more work in the pipeline than we could shake a stick at.
The speed and scale of the growth, particularly in the last five years, has been eye watering.
But is growth always good?
The growth conundrum
We live in a world that is obsessed by growth. Charities are often hoodwinked by the ‘growth is always good’ philosophy. Why do we always need to raise more money next year than this year? Why can’t we sometimes do better, rather than bigger?
Companies large and small often have an insatiable appetite for growth. And if I’m honest, I’ve fallen prey to this thinking at times.
Over time my fundraising consultancy business has grown and grown. We generated more sales, worked with more clients and each year generated more and more revenue.
But over time I started to notice that I was spending more and more time on business functions such as finance, admin, sales and HR and less time on client work. So much so, that I sometimes felt I spent more time with spreadsheets than clients.
Going small is the next big thing
Have you ever read a book that was a game-changer for you?
Last year I read Paul Jarvis’s brilliant book, the Company of One. It spoke powerfully to me about simplicity and work-life balance.
What if the key to a more fulfilling career was not to scale up, but rather to downsize?
What if I could simplify my work life? What if I focus on those areas of consultancy I’m most passionate about?
The answer to me was mind-blowingly simple. I could.
My new company of one
So, after 11 years at the helm of Fundraising Consultants Ltd, I have packed my corporate bags and left the business I love in order to fly solo.
Enter the Fundraising Expert
Working through the vehicle of a small, limited company of one, I’m now offering a more tailored, streamlined service, with the same drive to deliver outstanding quality. And all this without the VAT, saving money for you the client and saving me a whole load of time and hassle.
And the best thing of all? I spend most of my time doing the work I love; and the dreaded spreadsheet no longer rules my life.