Since setting up Davidson Gray to invest in and support recruitment business start-ups, I must have had hundreds of conversations with recruiters considering working for themselves. The biggest reason by far most recruiters settle for a new job rather than setting up, is the desire for security.
However is moving jobs really more secure?
Statistically, 4 out of 5 new recruitment business start-ups don’t last beyond 2 years, however taking the right new job can be tricky to get right too.
Here are some of the common reasons a new job may not work out, that could be outside your control.
These are some of the most common reasons a start-up can fail. However most are avoidable.
The purpose of this blog is to demonstrate how working for yourself can be a ‘safe’ option to consider when you make your next move. I wanted to make the point that you have more control of your own success with a new business, whereas in a new job that’s not always the case. Many new jobs clearly work out, and if they don’t, speak to a good Recruitment to Recruitment firm you trust, (Spencer Hunt being the best I know) and you’ll have interviews set up within the week.
However, simply heeding my advice on how to avoid the start-up business risks will mean becoming your own boss can be a lot less risky than you first thought.
Here are some of the additional reasons why a new business’s success is in your control:
I could go on but I don’t want to appear that I’m trying to sell working for yourself. This blog is simply to balance the argument. Setting up your own business does have a stigma of being risky, and if a recruiter jumps into it with no thought or planning, this bad reputation is rightly earned, however I hope I’ve shown that it’s far from clear-cut.
There are two big reasons recruiters can fail with their start-up in year one. There are those recruiters who aren’t made for working on their own, or those who set up with too little recruitment experience.
Working for yourself takes a certain mind-set, real drive and the ability to self-manage (which is why you need a certain level of experience). The prospective new business’s owner needs to really imagine working on their own, it can be lonely. However if you work in a shared office, set up with a partner or a working investor (in the way I work with my partner businesses) it’ll make it considerably easier.
When you are successful, you should be taking on staff in the medium term so it can be just as simple as staying focused on your goal and toughing out the early days on your own. I do need to add that recruiting your first employee is often the hardest – convincing good recruiters to join a one-man band or new business is not easy, so don’t assume getting staff will be easy or fast.
There is also the option to start in an employed role with an existing business which gives you a proven route to part owning your own business with them. Try Jonathan Taylor of Taylor Higson, I mentor and coach the business owners Jonathan develops so I can speak first hand and his strategy for helping his staff become business owners really works.
I know no one better for giving you all the support and encouragement you could want for to build your own business while being employed.
When speaking to recruiters who are considering setting up on their own, I always try and give a balanced argument and enough advice for the prospective business owner to make the decision on their own. Hard to do (I am a recruiter after all) so selling a ‘job’ is in my blood, but setting up on your own needs self-analysis and can’t be a knee jerk decision. So, think carefully before you decide to build your own business.
Read my blog on how to write a business plan, this can often help in the decision-making process. The biggest mistakes you can make is also a good one. If you are considering setting up on your own, read my blogs they will help.
I took a year to set up my first business, and have set up numerous since and love building new companies, but it’s not for everyone. I was also fortunate that I managed to learn on the job. However I look back now and if I had someone with my experience to turn to I would have made twice as much money, twice as fast, with half the stress; so I do recommend looking for a mentor or coach to help you.
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