I was at an event in Exeter last night and bumped into an old acquaintance from Falmouth who runs a very successful Cornish company.
As the presentations were about to start, he nudged me and said: “You do realise that we’re now in the elder statesmen bracket of businesses in Cornwall!”
My immediate response was, said with slight shock: “No!”
I guess, however, on the eve of MPAD’s 18th anniversary and the fact that I’m now 42, he was probably right.
It’s funny to think back to when I was 24, naively setting up in my tiny office in Penryn with the help of The Prince’s Trust, that the business would still be here nearly two decades on.
Sometimes I still feel like that 24 year old in terms of running the business – scraping for work, trying to do things differently and generally aiming to enjoy what we do.
Obviously, we’ve developed over the years and have processes and systems in place to allow us to work with the clients we do today. I’ve grown up a lot and feel more confident in valuing the work we do, as well as developing the ability to say ‘no’ to clients.
We also know the type of clients and sectors we want to work with. We’re particularly proud of the value of our work, service and knowledge.
It’s been fun, challenging, exhilarating and stressful in equal measures as we’ve experienced growth and contraction, won clients, lost clients, employed great staff, employed poor staff, had good payers, had bad payers, recycled a hippo, brewed our own beer, taken my daughters to client meetings, helped clients achieve success and won awards over the last 18 years.
As for the future, well we’re still trying to be different and work on interesting projects. We’ve collaborated with Leap (more to follow) and enjoy shared values and ethos with them, as well as a love of sustainability. I’ve also started a new agency, Ninety-Five, and are enjoying the chance to do things differently in a slightly new market.
Right now, I can’t imagine doing anything else and I’m not sure I’d want to.