From Tiny Sapling to 50-Footer: Some Thoughts on Growth and Sharing Our Success Upon Bospar’s Fifth Anniversary

Sapling at Bospar

Trees and PR? Yes, there are similarities. Let me explain.

I’ve managed to learn that the Empress, or Foxglove, tree is one of the fastest-growing specimens in the world. Paulownia tomentosa grows about ten feet in a year, which is pretty amazing. If I had planted an Empress tree when my agency was born, it would be a 50-footer by now!

It is fair to say that in just five years Bospar has grown from a tiny sapling to a sturdy 50-footer, and in that time, our team has learned a few things worth sharing with our PR colleagues, particularly if any of you have been thinking of starting an agency. Our company launched on January 1, 2015, and we’re gearing up for a year of celebrating. So, it seems appropriate to look at our success in “gardening,” how far we’ve come, the organization that we’ve grown, and what lies ahead and perhaps offer some tips to our peers.

We’re excited to explain the “whys and hows” of making our plan a reality and the thinking behind critical business decisions about Bospar’s ultimate structure and organization and our innovative approach to the PR agency business.

When starting the agency, we did our best to think about everything from the big issues to the smallest detail. Most notably, we decided at the beginning to employ an “all-virtual,” no-office model – which enables us to avoid high rents and other overhead, as well as to employ new parents who prefer to stay at home and the best PR talent, regardless of physical location. Our model considers the ability of a national footprint to trump a local or regional footprint, and having staffers across the country and, in some cases, around the world has benefitted both the agency and our clients.

We’ve also learned some lessons in the last five years:

  • Don’t take everything on all at once; that’s the best way to avoid feeling overwhelmed
  • For example, we learned that an agency doesn’t necessarily need to have a website on day one
  • We’ve learned to delegate work like contracts to experts, because it helps us focus on what we do best—PR
  • What’s also important is that when a new agency is starting out, loyalty and enthusiasm are more important than expertise

In terms of plans for Bospar’s fifth anniversary, we have a lot in the works. We’re hosting an offsite to Mexico for our entire staff, which will offer us plenty of time to plan and bond as a team, something that is critical with a virtual firm. We’ll also offer a free PR clinic for up-and-coming entrepreneurs that will include tips and best practices for getting started in the agency business. In addition, we’ll also deliver a new eBook that provides counsel to CMOs and other potential clients.

Like the Empress tree, our award-winning agency continues to grow quickly. We’ve gone from two people to more than 30, and our revenues have increased every year as the number of clients we support has skyrocketed. Thanks to the care and nurturing of our incredible team, we’ve transformed from a tiny sprout into a robust, sturdy organism that will keep growing for many years to come.

While perhaps we may not grow the equivalent of ten feet a year, every year, the PR industry’s bright future means that we all have lots of growth potential ahead.