Every successful recruitment agency started from somewhere and, believe it or not, we all go through very similar issues when starting from scratch. Here are five helpful tips for a smooth start:
Make a Plan – and Stick to It
Have a clear business plan and USP. Are you a specialist? A generalist? Are you known for your speed or your quality? Sometimes having a sector niche can be a compelling selling point that will help you align with target clients. Then, stick to it and try not to waver. It’s easier said than done, but consistency is the key. Trust the initial plan and evaluate the results before attempting to change it.
Identify Your Clients and Candidates
Know exactly who your ideal clients will be and how much work you’ll be able to get from them. Then figure out how you’ll find your ideal candidates. This should follow easily from the business plan. It shouldn’t be a complicated plan; it should be clear and concise, with a little bit of wiggle room in case there’s a need to move with the times.
Figure Out the Details
This is the boring stuff. It takes time and is usually underestimated – plus you’ll have to do it all yourself. I find that outsourcing at the beginning can save you hundreds of hours in the future. Also, invest in top technology, such as Talisman, from day one so you don’t have spend days transferring messy spreadsheets to upgraded systems later on. And don’t forget about organizing office premises, telecoms, websites and social media presence, terms of business, and insurance.
Know where your cash flow is coming from. If you’re all set with venture capital backing, good for you. But be wary of the angel investor who might want to get involved a little more than you bargained for. Self-funding? Be ready for long stretches of instant noodles and sleeping at the office. All I can tell you is that recruitment cash flow is notoriously tricky to get right, so be completely prepared for the long-haul and worst case scenarios.
You’re Going to Be Lonely
It can be a lonely life being an entrepreneur. So if you want to be the big, bad boss at the top, you’ll find yourself with little company. Unless, of course, you consider taking on a business partner. Business decisions will impact your employees, your cash flow and your future, so if it sounds a bit daunting having the weight to land squarely on your shoulders – share it with a partner. After all, a problem shared is a problem halved.