Predictable Strategies for High Growth Agencies, with Aalap Shah

Episode 47:

This week, I welcome Aalap Shah to the show. He is a CPA turned marketer and is now on his fourth successful business. Aalap shares his insights and tips on building an agency with predictable growth. Hear insights about:

  • How Aalap transitioned from being a CPA to a marketer
  • How a disciplined approach to goal setting aided Aalap in his fourth business
  • The most common financial mistakes made in the marketing industry
  • Why new agencies should operationalize their business processes and standards to build predictable business growth
  • How setting expectations with clients and your team impacts success outcomes
  • Why agency owners should prioritize maxing out their 401k

Making it Happen

Building a business that is successful enough to exit is difficult. My guest this week on the Progressive Agency Podcast has made it happen multiple times. Aalap Shah is an entrepreneur currently on his fourth business. As a CPA turned marketer, he shares his insights and tips on building an agency with predictable growth.

Taking a Disciplined Approach

Every agency owner’s goal should be to build a business that is built to sell. To ensure that your agency is made to sell, even if you’re not taking on more work, you need to be organizational. During our conversation, Aalap shares his disciplined approach to goal setting and developing systems and processes to set your business up for predictable growth.

Prioritizing Cash Flow

Aalap has learned a lot during his years as an entrepreneur. The most common financial mistake he’s seen agencies make – cash flow. He explains that agencies are ultimately just a cash business. The higher your growth rate, the more pressure you’ll have on cash. Aalap details the importance of getting a handle on cash flow forecasting and management. Listen to the episode to learn more.

How to Connect with Aalap Shah:

About Aalap Shah:

Aalap Shah is a Chicago-born entrepreneur, public speaker, philanthropist, and the founder of 1o8, a fresh digital marketing start-up focused on deepening brand awareness and increasing sales for amazon + e-commerce companies nationwide. Aalap and his team at 1o8 have worked with companies like Gildan, Sweet Leaf Tea, Vetnique Labs, OHi Superfood Bars, and Tio Gazpacho—just to name a few.

Aalap happily shares his personal entrepreneurial story and his passion for crafting digital strategy, creating content, navigating the ever-evolving digital marketplace, and captaining the entrepreneurs’ life at events far and wide. As a registered CPA and the child of Indian immigrant entrepreneurs, business is a key part of Aalap’s DNA and integral to his own personal American Dream. Aalap started his first business, a toy store, at the age of 23. Maneuvering the marketplace while building his business’ brand awareness sparked a love of marketing and promotion. Aalap worked in digital marketing for years thereafter, and is now the strategic brain behind 1o8, an amazon and ecomm focused growth agency in Chicago.

He has served as a keynote speaker, workshop moderator, and panelist at engagements with the National Business Education Association, Clickz, Social Media Week, Media Post, and Bloggers Week Summit and for companies such as Sears, Northwestern University, and DePaul University.