10 years of MAP
In all honesty, I didn’t think reaching our 10 year anniversary in business would mean that much to me. When we first discussed our celebrations, it felt like it was because it’s something that we “should” do rather than something that I felt proud or emotional about.
In hindsight, that’s quite a grumpy view for a number of reasons:
- Horrible failure statistics: Forbes suggest that approximately two thirds of businesses never make it to 10 years
- Founded on passion: Like many businesses, MAP was founded based on an individuals passion for delivering something better. I didn’t know whether enough people would want what I was offering. I could have been dealt with a quick reality check in those early days.
- The team deserves the accolades: I may have been the founder of the business, but the team has built it. I want them to recognise that they haven’t just worked at MAP, they’ve helped build it.
- Celebrate the journey: Celebrating when you have made mistakes can feel a bit lacking in authenticity, but I have to remind myself that business, just like life, is a journey with ups and downs and it’s so important to remember the successes which are often buried under the negativity that we naturally get drawn to
The failure statistics have double significance for a business providing accounting and finance services. As well as our own business survival, we also want our clients to survive too. We are on a constant quest to find ways to increase our clients chances of not just surviving, but thriving but building resilient and enjoyable businesses. Of course not every moment can be enjoyable, but it’s a lot easier to keep motivated when the business is making money!
The founder passion for MAP actually came from business owners telling me excitedly about this new cloud accounting software from New Zealand called Xero. It was a real eyebrow raiser for me to hear business owners….talking about accountancy….and being excited by it!
I decided early on that I wanted to specialise in an industry. Having expertise in a cloud accounting platform and plugging it into businesses meant that we could help them to have up to date financial information, but that doesn’t make you an effective adviser.
By focusing on a niche, we would be able to understand the market we served, the language, the business model and ultimately be able to go deeper and add more value. In digital agencies we found the perfect partner – very little resistance to adopting new technology, in fact most were – and still are – looking to use the latest and best technology and most recognised and trusted Xero as being just that.
With the tech and the niche decided at such an early stage, we could really focus and that meant saying no to a lot of things and ultimately making our world simpler.
I was always process driven, looking at how I would make everything clear for the people on their way in to do the work that needed doing. The MAP Way was formed and it still gets developed every day.
Getting the right team was paramount and as I explained in our recent podcast episode, the type of characters we needed changed over time.
The team we have today all have different personalities and I love the dynamics that brings, but they also share common values that make us a team and we battle on together towards a common purpose to help you, our clients, run a financially mature business.
Above all, the number one lesson I’ve learned in my 10 years as a business owner, is to enjoy the journey. Work is a big part of our lives and there is no avoiding the inevitable roller coaster of ups and downs, but if you are not doing it for something you are passionate about, or if the downs are too frequent and too deep, that’s not passion, it’s just wasting the opportunity we’ve been given of living a good life. So please make sure you are on a path you want to walk and make sure you work out how to make it more enjoyable and less painful.
And when you do have the ups, find every excuse to celebrate them, big and small. You and your team have worked hard for it and success is infectious.
Thank you for your continued loyalty and for partnering on our respective journeys