I have been recruiting for the last 5 years in the manufacturing skilled trades area.  This has been an extremely lucrative niche for my current agency.  For the last 3 years I have billed over $500K in direct hire/permanent placement fees. 

I spoke with my franchisee about a change to the compensation plan to be able to go to a straight commission plan and she has told me that she is unwilling to look at a change.  She says that she feels that she "grew" me to where I am and that she shouldn't have to change the compensation. 

To clarify my client base is 95% clients that I have brought in and 5% are agency clients.  I am a full cycle recruiter and well respected by the manufacturers in my area.  I have instituted many unique and successful recruiting strategies and have been asked to speak at our corporate functions on both recruiting and developing a successful desk.  I have developed a cohort of manufacturing managers that have allowed us to successfully implement a DOL apprenticeship program for which I hold the standards.  I know to many this does not sound like the ideal field for a successful recruiter but I currently have billed over $300K this year and it looks like I could easily hit $750K.

I would like to expand and go independent and I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts or advise?  I do not have a non-compete or a non-solicitaton agreement in place.

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Take a look at what is currently provided for you - compensation, benefits, RESOURCES, etc. Get real dollar numbers as to what these things will cost you as an owner.

Be sure you have enough money to survive 6-12 months without income. Hopefully, it won't be that long, but there are plenty of expenses, waiting for clients/placements/payments, etc.

As an owner, you will need to know how to set up a business, and all the minutiae that comes along: LLC, S-Corp, State/City/County/Federal regulations and licenses (more than you might think, lol!); IT; phone systems; office space;bank accounts; administrative work - and so on. Estimate: I spend about 8 hours/mo dealing with IRS, Dept of Revenue, etc and we don't have any employees or do staffing/contracting.Another 8 hours with improper billing/customer service issues by myriad vendors. 

Are you going to take clients with you? How will that look and feel to you - and those clients? You say your "franchisee" - what does that mean? If it's a franchise of a large agency, it seems very unusual there is no non-compete or Non-solicitation.

On the plus side - freedom is great. It is the other side to the hassles sometimes encountered as an owner. Also, remember a good chunk of each fee will go to taxes - so what you bill and actual income are not close to the same number.

Why not?  You rock!  The trade-off is that if you work solo, you have more isolation and less people-contact.  If I help set you up as an independent recruiter, on your own, do I get the customary 10%?  lol

Actually, what doubts do you have?  Why haven't you already?

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