Tim Barlow: Building a business in a day

Tim Barlow, founder of digital marketing firm Attacat. Picture: Contributed
Tim Barlow, founder of digital marketing firm Attacat. Picture: Contributed
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Hooray – we’ve been given an extra day this year! It’s less than a week until 29 February and we are going to use this leap day to do something a bit different.

We are going to set up a completely new business. From scratch. In a single day.  

At 9am on Monday, the business – which has nothing to do with digital marketing – will not be anything more than a concept. At that point, it won’t have a name, have no market research, no customers, no suppliers, no employees and certainly no website or marketing plan.  

The aim is to resolve all of that in a day using the Attacat team and possibly a little help from our clients and associates via social media as the day progresses.

The “big reveal” is at 9am on the 29th but here’s the real kicker. The team know we are using the day to set up a business, but I’m keeping the idea itself close to my chest until the day. Before then, they’re getting nothing more than the odd tease that might slip out on Facebook.

So whilst the day should be great fun, educational and rewarding, this isn’t just a team-building exercise, it’s a business idea I genuinely want to make a go of.

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The principal aim is to get the business up and running in the day. By “up and running” I mean to a point where it can run itself on an ongoing basis with minimal input from me.

That last part is really important. I am (and the team are), of course, committed to Attacat, so if we can get someone in to run our new business and work to automate it as much as possible, then we can do it for a day and then get back to the day job the following day.  

Is it mission impossible? It’s a big ask, yes, but then again it’s not every day that 12 Attacats set out to solve a problem together. As with any leap into the unknown, we’ll find out on the day.

So where has all this madness come from?

We all put off doing things for lack of time. So what would you do if you were told you’d been given an extra day on Monday and everything else could wait?

Yes, I too could think of other things, but I’ve always wanted to try to build a business in a day.

A week ago I was thinking about my latest business idea when an email from Gordon White at fatBuzz came in talking about how they were using the “extra day” of the 29th.  

And that was it. I suddenly realised this was my golden opportunity to give it a go. My brain has been in overdrive ever since.

I hope you’ll join in the fun (or, at least, witness the mayhem) on the day through social media (#attamadness). And you should check out how fatBuzz are using their extra day; it’s pretty cool.

• Tim Barlow is founder of digital marketing firm Attacat