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Entrepreneurialism has been popularised in recent years by TV programmes such as Dragons Den and in particular The Apprentice whose former contestants have gone on to start more recruitment businesses than any other. So what makes a successful entrepreneur in the recruitment industry? And why have their numbers continued to increase despite testing economic conditions? Support Services Group, one of the UKs leading recruitment investment firms, has identified the Top Ten attributes that make a successful recruitment entrepreneur.
Having helped successfully launch over 130 new recruitment consultancies in seven years, Support Services Group have worked with some of the most enterprising and fastest-growing consultancies in the UK. But because they take the financial risk out of starting a new business by absorbing the initial start-up costs, Support Services Group only invest in those individuals who can demonstrate they have what it takes to develop a successful recruitment business.
Clare Armstrong, director of operations and policy at Support Service Group, has dealt with hundreds of would-be entrepreneurs and has identified the Top Ten attributes that all successful entrepreneurs in the recruitment industry must have:
Have a goal: The most successful entrepreneurs have a clear understanding of where they see their businesses over the next 6, 12, or 18 months and beyond and take effective steps to achieve their goal.
Be confident not arrogant: Self-confidence and an unquenchable belief in your ability to do a great job are important but over-confidence is bad for business success.
Establish a strong support network: You may have been the best recruitment consultant in the business but now youll be expected to wear many hats, including accountant, IT expert, marketer, administrator, and payroll. Be prepared to learn new skills and dont be afraid to seek the help of those who have experienced the challenges you are facing and can help accelerate your business.
Be committed and hard working: Running your own business is not a 9 to 5 job, you need to be prepared to put the hours in to get the job done and make sure your business realises the potential you know it has a walk in the park this is not.
Have an angle: Recruitment is one of the most entrepreneurial businesses in this country but also one of the most competitive. Make your business stand out from the crowd by offering something different and unique than your competitors.
Have passion: People buy from people may sound clichd, but its true. Your genuine passion and enthusiasm will make it easier to sell yourself more convincingly and instil confidence in your clients who dont want to invest in someone whose only interest is personal greed.
Be an expert: Have an in-depth understanding of the market you operate, keep abreast of the latest trends, and demonstrate your exceptional knowledge by getting your name out there as someone who is an expert in your field by writing articles for your local or trade publications, attend networking events, and build your online social network.
Be open to change: To be the best you need to keep on top of what is happening in your sector and adapt your game plan accordingly. Things like social media have dramatically changed the way recruiters do business and you need to embrace new technologies or risk being left behind.
Be innovative and ideas driven: Successful entrepreneurs have an ornate desire to do things better and are always looking for creative and innovative way to improve their service.
Never quit: Set backs are par for the course when running your business and successful entrepreneurs view any knock-backs and failures as nothing more than a temporary setback.
Support Services Group has seen a significant progression in the number of experienced recruiters approaching them for support in helping them start their own consultancies, including one business they helped start in early 2010 that is now turning over 1m less than a year after opening their doors.
As an investment business Support Services Group effectively launches new consultancies at no cost to the recruiter and offer new business owners a range of management consultancy and back-office support, ranging from business planning and IT to legal support and marketing, leaving the recruiter to focus on what they do best winning new business and making profit.


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