Starting a recruitment business going into a recession may not seem like the smartest move. We could not have picked a more challenging time. But after over a year of planning we decided we would embrace the risk and launch.
It seems, though, that simply announcing that you are starting-up in times like these leads people to think that you are taking an unnecessary risks. Overcoming these preconceptions is probably the biggest challenge we have faced (so far).
It has been really interesting to hear the assumptions that people have about our circumstances and motivations. Even people who see why we are doing itthink we are brave. I don't see myself, nor my business partners, as natural entrepreneurs or inherently courageous.
We have had to change the way our projects are priced and managed, but we wanted to do that anyway -- headhunters haven't changed their fee structure in over 50 years. So the downturn has only served to accelerate our plans to reinvent the traditional business model.
I think we are working twice as hard in the current market as we probably would in more buoyant times, but that is in our control. Shake enough trees, do enough good work, be flexible and the business will come.
Clients understand what we do and companies will always need good people -- we are not having to educate our clients in what we fundamentally do. I suspect that is a much harder place for a new business to be.
Having worked through two recessions I thought I knew what to expect. But what has been so different this time round has been the speed that pessimism has set it in -- something we are ignoring.
We are in charge of our own destiny and away from office politics. Friends and former colleagues face redundancy, but we're now focusing on the end-game. In order to succeed you have to 100 per cent believe in what you do and combine that with healthy dose of perspective.
In a recession, bad companies go by the wayside. Those of us that are still standing will be poised to enjoy the good times when they come. Boy will we deserve it!