Big Goals and Basic Cash Flow: How Isaac Mashman Built His Top-Rated PR Firm

Small Business
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At 21, Isaac Mashman found himself in California trying to find his place in life while the pandemic raged outside his doorstep. Working as a freelancer and sole proprietor, he knew he would get a stimulus check.

And he decided to do something different with it.

Instead of squirrel away his stimulus money for a rainy day, Isaac decided to invest it into launching a business. Thus, on April 17, 2020, the public relations firm Mashman Ventures was born. Through his company, Isaac helps business owners, musicians, and other ambitious individuals build and leverage their personal brands to drive leads, book gigs, and get seen.

While his company is only a year and a half old, he's managed to bring on 13 team members without any outside funding. Building this team, keeping his operations simple, and staying flexible has led to Mashman Ventures’ wild success.

We sat down with Isaac in our recent episode of The Cash Flow Show to talk about his success and what other business owners and entrepreneurs can learn from it.

Starting From Scratch

Isaac rooted his company in personal branding and public relations. Why? He knew he was good at it and had been working with branding since 2017. From starting a record label to dropshipping, Isaac had tried everything. In the process, he always felt most successful leaning into personal branding.

As Isaac realized that he had become the “go-to” guy for personal branding among his friends, he knew that a specialized PR business had potential. Pandemic stimulus check in hand, he decided to invest in himself and commit to the business.

“...if you’re bootstrapping your business, you just need to go all in.”

Since Isaac decided to start his business on his own, he ditched a traditional business plan and went with his gut.

With a traditional plan, you may sit down and write down every detail about your business, from your company summary to marketing goals and market research. These documents can easily cross 40 or 50 pages in length, and they take weeks to write.

Instead of spending excessive time planning, Isaac spoke with successful professionals, decided on what services he would provide, and hit the ground running.

“Based on personal experience and talking to a lot of people, the only time you need a business plan is if you’re building with co-founders or if you need to raise funds,” says Isaac. “But if you’re bootstrapping your business, you just need to go all in.”

Invest in your team

Isaac shared that a key differentiator for him was building a team. While sole proprietors and freelancers can offer a quality service, it can be difficult to scale. And for many clients, especially in PR, the lack of a team can make you seem less credible.

To scale quickly, Isaac knew that he would need people to be a part of the vision.

“We have a team of 13 people, 14, including myself, and that also includes people that are providing additional assistance outside of personal branding or PR services,” says Isaac.

But not every team member Isaac brought on is directly related to his clients’ needs. In fact, he decided to reinvest in his employees’ mental and physical wellbeing by hiring health experts.

“We have a lead mental health advisor. We also have a lead personal trainer who provides services and incentives to everybody else on the team for no cost to them simply to ensure their health is great. And that was very important to me.”

One of the reasons Isaac decided to bring health experts on board for his employees was because he realized how beneficial it is. Because mental and physical health is largely built through accountability and positive influences, Isaac believes in prioritizing a support system at work to ensure his employees feel taken care of.

“I sleep better at night knowing if that someone on my team is going through a rough time, not just in our business, but on their own, they have access to someone who can walk with them,” says Isaac.

In bringing together a talented team of specialists, Isaac has been able to focus solely on growth. With the company on track to hit the million-dollar mark by 2024, Isaac has leveraged personal branding for his own agency.

Take a results-oriented approach to consulting

While Isaac has a large team, he’s structured his business around a consultancy model that has him getting on a call with every client. On these calls, Isaac reviews the client’s personal branding strategy and trains them to meet their goals. All of this is a part of providing high-quality customer service and ensuring results.

“I’m teaching them the aspects of personal branding that a lot of people are afraid to discuss because people believe that you’re creating increased competition in the marketplace,” says Isaac.

Moving into 2022, Isaac will continue to refine his model. Instead of building a course or becoming an educational guru, he wants to work more closely with his independent contractors. He hopes he can further scale his business without sacrificing quality by providing training for his current and future team members.

Keep your accounting simple

When it comes to consulting as a business model, expenses are usually fairly low. With most of his expenses linked to increasing his headcount, the consultancy model offers a high-profit margin with very low overhead.

“Everybody on our team is currently remote, and for the most part, we don't have a lot of expenses. And that maximizes the amount of revenue that we can get from each project.”

Marketing is another expense, but it’s been a fun and creative reinvestment. Isaac regularly invests in offline marketing tactics. Rather than wait online for clients to roll in, he invests in hoodies and other merch to attract clients offline.

“I think guerilla marketing is really an underrated tool now, especially because everybody's been locked down,” says Isaac. “But now that the country is opening up, people will be going out and connecting.”

Outside of marketing, basic tools like Calendly, and his staff, Isaac’s expense sheet is short. And since he bootstrapped his business, he doesn’t need to present his financial decisions to a co-founder or investor.

As a result, Isaac’s business accounting is fairly simple. He runs the numbers and his projects on a spreadsheet and tracks revenue from month to month.

By running simple projections, Isaac has managed to grow and support his team quickly without spreading his finances too thin.

Forecast for growth

One of the major challenges associated with rapid growth is maintaining control over cash flow. For Isaac, he’s only had two rules:

  1. Keep finances as simple as possible

  2. Set gigantic goals

As a business owner, he has a million things to do. And while he may eventually take on an accountant or business analyst, he wants to keep the process streamlined for now. The only thing that matters is whether or not monthly revenue is going up.

“I have forecasts, and I'm looking forward towards the future. And I set gigantic goals. There's no reason why I can't have a $50,000 month,”

But setting big goals and keeping up with forecasts also plays a big part in his success.

“I have forecasts, and I'm looking forward towards the future. And I set gigantic goals. There's no reason why I can't have a $50,000 month,” says Isaac. “I'd say I have our financial milestones set for the next four to five years.”

Reinvest in your business

It’s clear that Isaac’s choice to consistently invest in himself and his business helped him launch a successful consultancy.

No matter your business model, understanding how cash flow can support your objectives and growth is essential. To get started, you need to start tracking your income and expenses. It’s that simple.

Pulse provides easy-to-understand visualizations of your cash flow without the need for a hard-to-read spreadsheet. Plus, it grows with you when you begin adding new clients and lines of revenue. When you can forecast with clarity, you can make better informed decisions. Try it out free for 30 days and see how you can grow your business.