I started Foxbox Digital 3 years ago. We’ve grown from 0 to 60 team members in 3 years. It’s been an incredible run, and we just got started.
Here are three things that I learned along the way. Most of this advice is geared towards consulting / digital agencies, but I’m sure can be replicated across other industries.
1 → Know each team member’s strong suit and do everything in your power to make sure they’re on projects that match their skill set.
I’ve lost several people because I didn’t do this properly. It’s painful. Great talent wants to grow and they want to be challenged. Embrace it and never lose focus on what makes your best talent tick.
2 → Hire great people, give them clear direction and let them run with it (while supporting them along the way).
At some point, you have to let go of managing individuals. It’s not possible. It’s hard with 1 person, harder with 5 people, and around 10 people it basically becomes impossible.
I learned the hard way that there's a fine line between autonomy and abdication, and the key is in providing support when your team needs it.
We spend a lot of time internally and coaching our team to give each team member as clear a direction as possible.
3 → The best way to hire more senior talent is to hire senior talent.
Sounds confusing but it’s simple. “A” talent doesn’t want to work with “B” talent, and so on.
So, when you hire great talent, it naturally attracts more great talent through referrals. Also, during the interview process, “A” talent will also do their due diligence to see who’s on the team and who their co-workers will be.
That’s one thing we did right from the start and it’s paid off in dividends.
Lastly, the most important thing I realized is that the growth of this business is compounding and so hard decisions need to be made up front for the sake of growth 1-2 years later.
Rob Volk is Foxbox Digital’s founder and CEO. Prior to starting Foxbox, Rob helped Fortune 100 clients, including Pfizer, USPS, and Morgan Stanley build and scale enterprise apps. He was the CTO of Beyond Diet and implemented technology that scaled to over 350k+ customers, and was the CTO and Co-Founder of Detective (detective.io), a venture-backed intelligence platform that amassed 200k+ users in a short time frame. Read more