2020 has been, well, interesting…
We started off on a high, full of optimism, joy and excitement. New year, new start, new opportunities. It seemed as though nothing would come between us and our life goals. We had it sorted.
Then, in March: Covid. Months of self-isolation, furlough and lockdown. Farewell social life, adios ambition – hello, survival. We hunkered down and we faced the music. we channeled the Blitz Spirit of our ancestors and in those times, where we had lost so much, we found something deep without ourselves, hidden in our community, we discovered a balance.
All of a sudden, we had the time and space to take stock, to spend quality time with those we live with, and to reevaluate what truly is important to us. Many of us discovered that we are just (if not more) productive when working from home – whilst making up hours of lost time every week without having to commute. Many of our eyes were opened when we were forced into change. Many of us can’t imagine, and don’t want to imagine, a return to the way things were.
In one moment, workers across the country got a small taste of what SSG clients have been experiencing for nearly 20 years – freedom.
At SSG, we help recruiters start their own businesses – we help them with the launch, and we provide our clients with the tools, support and mentoring they need to succeed. But isn’t now just about the worst time to be launching a new business?
Wouldn’t it be better to start up when the conditions are perfect? The short answer is, not really.
Don’t believe me that this is the best time to start a brand new recruitment business? Check out these examples from other industries from Business Leader:
In the months leading up to the last major financial crisis between 2007-08, two Californian friends and entrepreneurs – Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia – had the idea of renting out an air mattress in their San Francisco living room. At the end of that year, the world descended into an international recession – and the pair saw it as an opportunity to expand their business. Airbnb took over the short-term living market, as people were being outpriced by hotels and the leisure industry. In the aftermath of the recession, the firm received major VC funding and their international expansion began. Airbnb is now valued at around £31bn.
In the midst of the mid-1970s oil crisis, which caused a 16-month recession, two computer software engineers and childhood friends – Bill Gates and Paul Allen – set up tech powerhouse, Microsoft. The firm went on to revolutionise the world, with its products and services. Within a decade, it had made the pair billionaires, and the brand had spread across the world. Over the next half a century, the firm would introduce Windows, Office, Xbox, Outlook and many other products and services that are used by millions of people every minute, every day. Last year, the company exceeded the £100bn valuation and has cemented itself as one of the world’s leading companies.
At the tail end of the last financial crisis, former Yahoo executives Jan Koum and Brian Acton created an encrypted messaging services that enabled people to send messages around the world for free in real-time. After the pair convinced five former Yahoo colleagues to invest £200,00 into the fledgling business, it was launched on iOS and became one of the systems most downloaded apps. It soared in popularity, first in the USA, and then across the globe – leaving all over forms of instant messaging playing catch up. In 2014, just over five years after being founded, it was sold to Facebook for a jaw-dropping £15.5bn.
In the worst financial crisis in the history of the world – the 1929 Great Depression – brothers Walt and Roy Disney incorporated a production company that had previously showcased a short-animated feature, Steamboat Willie – starring Mickey Mouse. During the depression, Walt Disney Productions created cartoons to bring happiness to those suffering from the economic crisis. One of those cartoons was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It was a major success, making around £1.25m during the period. The company confirmed its place in the people’s lives as an outlet from the struggles they were facing.
For more examples, check out this link over at Business Leader’s website.
What can we take away from this?
Recessions, economic hardships and world-changing events (such as the global pandemic we’re all currently living through) – force us, and the environment around us to change.
It’s a leveller, a startup with fresh ideas can come into the market and revolutionise the way things are done out of necessity – and that can change the market forever. Startups don’t have the financial overheads that established businesses have – and they don’t have legacy commitments to doing things a certain way.
If a startup could find the best of both worlds – matching innovation with support and resources, they have an excellent chance of success.
That is, in short, the SSG model. It’s what we’ve done for 20 years: Innovate, support and mentor.
We’d love to get to know more about your circumstances, and to see if the time is right for you too!
You can book a call with our Investment Team here, or alternatively, download our free e-book about launching recruitment businesses here.