Moving away from a well-paid employed position inclusive of many additional benefits was most probably one of the scariest decisions I have ever made. I knew I was going to be paid at the end of the month and the bills and mortgage were sorted. I had a generous holiday allowance to take and the odd bonus always helped to pay for the holidays. But I wanted more than this stability. I wanted to give it a go on my own and build a recruitment brand and business that I believed in operating in the sectors I wanted to work in and not one’s, the board believed were the most lucrative.
When I launched Trapeze there was by no means an endless pot of money to transfer into my business account and deciding not to engage with external funding sources made sure I had to be very careful with every penny spent. When I made the decision to go on my own, I sat down with my very supportive partner and we agreed I would invest a figure into the business and should things not work out once this figure was spent, I would have to admit defeat and go back to employment……. well nearly 3 years later my CV has not been updated!!!!! I think a key reason for this was not just my experience and local knowledge of the recruitment industry in Kent but also investing in the right tools from the outset.
Whilst our disposable income significantly reduced, I made sure money was spent on the business to ensure sustained success. A market leading CRM was invested in, the best IT and communication equipment was purchased and the right IT company was engaged with to ensure minimal down time. A market leading online accountancy system was used to ensure I was able to focus my time on recruitment and not balancing the books. I knew social media coverage was needed to get my brand out there, but I am no expert on social media so I engaged with a social media professional to not only promote my business but allow me to focus my time on what I did best…. recruitment! A significant investment was made in market leading job boards and Linked In to attract candidates. Without this I had no business!! I also engaged with a call handling service, as there is nothing worse than a ringing phone not being answered.
All this investment truly paid off. When I started my business, I was one woman working from home but to the outside world I was a professional business that was able to very quickly compete with larger more established agencies. A client I had worked with for many years prior to setting up on my own allowed me to work on a position very soon after Trapeze was launched (along with other agencies) which I went on to fill and the candidate is still very much enjoying her role. She later advised that she just wanted to give me a chance and did not think I would fill the position……but the investment I had made ensured that I could. Trapeze has since gone on to make a further 7 appointments with this business including a very senior level placement.
I was very lucky to have money to invest in my business from the outset but often you definitely do make your own luck by working hard, taking calculated risks and having a vision for your business.