This is an excerpt from our Top 10 Mistakes Recruitment Start-ups Make (and how to avoid them) e-book download. You can download that now, for free, here.

This suggestion is from the SSG’s Investment Team’s James Maclean:

There’s an awful lot to cover here – and your first port of call should be our Recruitment Business Plan Guide which you can download here – but there’s a few quick and simple suggestions which will keep you on trace.


First of all, make sure you budget for success. It’s probably the least enticing part of your preparation to be a recruitment business owner, but it’s easily one of the most important.


Make sure you have your income and outgoings detailed as much as possible (see cashflow) – and make sure you leave enough money in the business to give you room to grow.


Then there’s deciding on (and sticking to – whilst remaining dynamic) your niche. Your niche is your corner of the market – the corner of the market you’re going to dominate. There’s the old saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none”, and that certainly holds true for recruitment companies. It’s not enough to say you’re going to be the best recruiter in the UK and that the business will come flooding in – if you believe that, you’ll be sorely disappointed. The best strategy is to dig down into a corner of the market which hasn’t yet been exploited. For example, instead of just being a tech recruiter – why not specialise in only Apple computers (as one successful SSG client does)? All of a sudden you are the go-to recruiter for Apple resellers, engineers, and even Apple themselves. It’s a smart move which so many people overlook.


Finally, set yourself reasonable and ambitious KPIs and targets. All of a sudden, the only person you’ll be accountable to is yourself – so motivation is key. You’ll need to set yourself goals, and keep to them, and maintain a track of your progress. KPIs and targets may be one of the first things you’ll be glad to see the back of as you leave employment, but the reality is that without them your business (and motivation) will stagnate, and ultimately, fail.

To find out the other top mistakes recruitment start-ups make (and how to avoid them), download our e-book here!