Ready, Set, Scale: From $12K to $24M+ with Jon Morris

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About Our Guest

In 2004, Jon Morris founded Rise Interactive. Under his leadership, Rise received recognition for excellence in client service, innovative marketing campaigns, and commitment to culture, including acknowledgment from Inc. 500|5000 Fastest Growing Companies (nine-time winner), Ad Age (Best Places to Work in Advertising), Fortune Magazine, and more.

Currently, Jon is the founder and CEO of Ramsay Innovations, a management consulting company that is focused on advising small to medium sized businesses on how to grow faster.

By looking back at the tactics and strategies that helped Rise grow from an initial $10k investment into one of the largest independent digital agencies in the United States, Jon has created a framework applicable across a variety of verticals to help business owners scale their companies.

About this Episode

Ready, Set, Scale: From $12K to $24M+ with Jon Morris

What’s your BHAG? Jon Morris’ was to build the world’s largest, independent digital agency. At least this is what he told his second-ever employee as he interviewed him in his condo come office.

While Rise Interactive might have been born off the back of a humble $10,000 investment he got second place for at a competition, Jon and his team created an effective, long-term growth strategy that saw the company grow from $12,000 in sales in the first year to many multiple millions by the time he exited in 2018.

Jon’s growth mindset is now used in helping small to medium sized businesses scale faster.

What you will learn in this episode

In this episode we’ll cover everything from:

  • How to approach growing a business from the beginning
  • What infrastructure you need to implement to unlock growth
  • His strategy for investing back into the business

Connect with Jon Morris

Show Notes

(2:07) Jon didn’t want to start a business, he just wanted to win a competition for the best idea. But second place and $10,000 later, Rise Interactive was born. Its goal? To teach digital marketing to small businesses.

(10:20) There are four types of CEOs – Start up, Growth, Mature, and Mega CEOs. Here’s how to transition from Start up to Growth and how that unlocks the ability to scale in your business.

(17:24) Around 98% of all agency transactions fall within 5x – 15x EBITDA with 20% of revenue as the benchmark. Jon, rather than focusing on 20%, decided to live between 0 and 5% to invest in business and fuel growth. Here’s how he did it.

(24:46) In 2018, Jon sold the majority ownership of Rise to his strategic partner, Quad without an advisory firm. The first thing Jon learned in this process: There are A LOT of opinions in the M&A market.

(34:50) Jon’s exit was structured around an upfront plus earn-out. While he was incentivised to stay on longer in the organisation, he left in 2020 because he knew it was time to move on to something different.

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