Scott Krady wasn’t sure if he could turn his side income into a full-time business when he took on a few marketing projects to supplement his income from his job in marketing.
But today he pulls in over $1 million in annual revenue from what Magnitude, Inc. has become, a full-service marketing communications and consulting firm in Irvington, NY
Magnitude has acted as an outsourced chief marketing officer for early-stage, medium-sized and growth companies and has attracted clients in industries such as cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence and litigation advisory. Krady built the company to seven-figure sales as a solopreneur, relying on the help of a team of experienced contractors, and recently grew it to eight traditional employees.
Krady’s story offers a crash course in transitioning from corporate life to running a professional services firm. Here’s how he managed it.
Give yourself time to learn the ropes. Krady dipped a toe in the water of running a business when he took on a few freelance projects in 2018. At the time, he was working full-time at a corporate job where he created integrated marketing and communications campaigns.
When he left that position after eight years, he tried to work as a consultant for a year. He came to the conclusion that it would be easier to win over B2B customers if he formally started a company, and formed an S Corp, but the time was not right to go all in. He worked for an association for a year before finally deciding to follow Magnitude full-time in January 2021.
Don’t do it all yourself. From the start, Krady lined up contractors to help him. “I wanted to offer everything I had as a marketer: content strategy, communications, consulting services,” says Krady. “To do that on a large scale, I knew I would have to get other help pretty early on. I couldn’t do it myself.”
Krady tapped his network to find contractors. Fortunately, like many seasoned business professionals, he had built strong relationships in his industry. In addition to his marketing work, he had once been a reporter at Fortune magazine. This allowed him to quickly find the talent he needed. “It was a combination of people I worked with and met along the way,” he says.
Krady is drawn to working with experienced talent. Ensuring the agency can perform at a high level – whether a client is seeking media placements, strategic direction, brand building or client engagement – makes a big difference in attracting and retaining clients in a competitive industry. “You want to feel comfortable that you can achieve,” he says. “In the world we’re in, there’s a lot of pressure to perform and deliver, and deliver enough.”
Leverage your network to grow your business. Having strong relationships also paid off when it came to finding clients. When Krady introduced his new business to contacts, he quickly got referrals. Many of his early clients were startup companies with tight budgets. Gradually he also found bigger customers. Most of them have opted to put his business on a commission basis.
“I was always afraid of failure,” says Krady. “I was my own harshest critic. What I’ve learned is that a big part of being successful is being able to connect with people. We take the time to listen and understand customer pain points so we can be a true partner to their organizations in helping them achieve their goals.”
In November 2021, Krady was on track to bring in $1 million in annual revenue with an all-contractor team, serving clients in industries such as technology, healthcare, energy and financial services. Now he’s surpassing that, and with stable cash flow, he’s moved to a model with five full-time employees in addition to a team of permanent contractors. That has helped him find the balance he wants as a husband and father.
Although it took him a few years to leave the corporate world, he has no intention of returning to his old life. “When you’re in a business, you’re always afraid you’ll make a mistake that will cost you your job,” he says. “You’re almost afraid to rock the boat and speak up.” At Magnitude, Inc. he is free to experiment and be as creative as he pleases when serving his customers. “It’s exciting and scary at the same time,” he says.