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The market for new recruitment agencies is not exactly buoyant but lucrative opportunities remain for experienced recruiters who want to go it alone. The number of new recruitment agencies fell in 2011, down on figures from previous years, according to statistics from the Office for National Statistics’ Business Demography report. But the economic climate is recovering, and many individuals are leaving their jobs in recruitment in order to be self-employed in the field. If you want to do the same, consider these pointers for setting up an agency successfully.

Be realistic about your needs and budget

Many people have all the enthusiasm in the world when it comes to planning their recruitment business, and a ton of ideas, but they fall down when it comes to realistically planning budgets and setting up the administration essentials associated with starting a recruitment firm. At the start you definitely need an accountant, and you also need a business bank account. You need business insurance, and you need a place to work. This all sounds simple on the surface but getting just one of these factors sorted out could take weeks. When you consider your place of work, be realistic about the costs involved. Renting an office is expensive, but working from home may not be an option. Build a business plan from the ground up, starting by concentrating on the essentials before you even start thinking about a name, a website, and a marketing strategy.

move-from-recruiter-to-recruitment-business-ownerStarting a recruitment business to fill the empty chairs

Develop your specialism and use your skills

Decide what you will focus on in terms of recruitment. Do you want to work in temporary recruitment, or specialise in a field like retail or legal recruitment? Your specialism may depend on your experience in recruitment to date. Once you have your USP and business focus you need to develop a website and work on your marketing plan. Social networking is a huge factor in recruitment today so make sure you are up-to-speed on how to use the social networks to find and place candidates.

Work out the detail – and the money

Many start-ups fail within the first five years due to being undercapitalized. It is clear that starting any business requires a good back-up of funds, but a lot of entrepreneurs are unrealistic about the costs that mount as you develop your business. Aspects like technology for your business and travel costs may be overlooked but can be expensive. Make sure you can survive while living on a hugely reduced income while you build-up your business.

Sort out your contract finance options. This is one of the areas that recruitment start-ups struggle with, compared to entrepreneurs in other business areas. Being able to manage and maintain contract finance is tough, and it often pays to get outside help in this area when you are starting a recruitment business. Going it alone is potentially rewarding but you may need assistance from seasoned professionals before you make it big. Network, ask for help, and pay attention to the success stories in the industry, as well as sector trends. Being prepared and ready for hard work is essential when setting up your new business in recruitment.

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