Whatever your motives to start-up your own recruitment business, be those for greater financial reward for your knowledge and efforts, or because it’s the next challenge in your career progression. You need a business plan to reduce the risk of failure by ensuring you remain focused on what is important and to be able to measure your business progress.
Business planning and strategy for a new recruitment start-up are intertwined. Strategy is about knowing your industry and what are the key factors for success. This allows you to deploy your limited resources to deliver against these key goals. You need to understand your own strengths and weakness and play to your strengths whilst either avoiding your weaknesses or planning to turn a weakness into a strength.
Your strengths can include your knowledge and business relationships within a niche market sector, after all if you have dealt in a sector for many years and are known as the “go to person”, that is a strength that is difficult for others to replicate. Were as a weakness could be in accounts, marketing and technology, all of which are key to ensuring an employment agency starts up successfully and achieves its planned growth.
So what should you be investigating and planning for.
Tip 1 You need to define your new business – what services are you offering, what is your primary service and what is secondary, what geographical area you are going to focus on. Write this down and refer back to it occasionally, this will give you focus on what is your market. After all, in the strategy stage you have thought about who and why you are targeting a specific market and the resources you need. “It’s all too easy to lose focus”.
Tip 2 Plan your support services, after all you can either be performing the recruitment function which is your strength or performing an administrative role that may not be your strength, so value your time and devote it to the most profitable aspects of the business.
Tip 3 Plan your marketing, how are you going to inform the market place of your new recruitment venture. There are a number of marketing channels and the ability to reach a mass audience is becoming easier by the day. But ensure you know what makes you different from your competition and what your advantage over the competition is, this feeds back to your strategy thinking and defining your strengths and resources.
Tip 4 Plan your growth – know what your business is going to look like is 3, 6 and 12 months and beyond. Regularly come back to your plans and if reality isn’t the same as your plan, ask the question “why?” You may then need to adjust your plan to changes in the industry.
Tip 5 Know your competition, what is it that they are doing right? And what are they doing wrong. Is there an opportunity to steal an advantage?
Tip 6 Finance; remember “cash flow” is king. Your start-up costs can be low in the recruitment industry, a room, a PC with internet access and a mobile phone. You need regular financial appraisals of how your business is performing. A few quick perm placement scores can very quickly get you “in the black”, but the growth of a contract plan will give you long term financial stability without the peaks and troughs of one off perm fees.
Tip 7 Legal, ensure that your business is starting on a strong legal footing, your company is incorporated correctly, you’re able to handle tax and VAT returns.
Remember once you have your Business Plan written out refer back to it ensure you are growing your business the way you expected, and be prepared to re-appraise and change your plan if necessary – the world and your market niche is always changing.