What key considerations should I take into account before deciding to start my own business?
It’s very easy to think that your Clients & Candidates deal with you not your Company and it would be very easy to set up on your own and do the same thing as you do just now. Never underestimate the power of the brand that you currently work for. When you sever ties with your current Employer you don’t only have to sell yourself to any potential new Client(restrictive covenants are likely to prevent you dealing with your current clients for an extended period of time)but you also have to sell your new business which will have no brand identity. You also need to differentiate yourself and your new business to ensure that they both grow independently of each other.
The first 6 months are tough. When I started my own business nearly 30 years ago, working long hours for little reward was the accepted norm. I thought it would take a year to work out if the business would succeed but realistically you’ll know in the first 6 months.
So what advice can I give you if you are thinking of going it alone?
- Be flexible. When I started in business I thought we could offer a reasonable alternative to the current temporary recruitment model(pay the candidate yourself and only get charged for the recruitment service instead of a regular mark up that is purely for payroll purposes)but it was poorly received so we dropped the offering in year 1.
- Back yourself. When you’re starting out you have to project an aura of confidence, safe in the knowledge that if you think it’s a great idea then so should your Clients & Candidates. If you don’t believe in yourself and your business then you can’t expect anyone else to.
- Be committed. It’s easy to think of what the business might become but the harsh reality is that there will be months & months of ups and downs and having the personal qualities of resilience & determination will keep you going.
- Be aware of your capabilities. Bring in the right people to carry out the tasks you can’t perform. Don’t try and spread yourself too thin. Plan ahead and always think through each potential new market/service offering before you commit.
- Get proper advice. Work with someone who has been there and done it, who knows what you’re going through and can provide the right support in the right areas at the right time.