Negotiating the admin minefield
Richard Morris, UK CEO, Evans EasySpace
Nobody starts a recruitment business for the love of administration. But, as anyone who has launched their own company knows well, paperwork and legalities very quickly become a drain on time, resources and energy.
Often, recruiters will have little or no grounding in business law or administration. The difficulty is that gaining an understanding of the necessary rules and regulations takes time – time that entrepreneurs would much rather be spending on building their network and promoting their services.
A recent Supreme Court ruling perfectly illustrates the potential pitfalls that await businesses that don’t do their homework. The ruling concerns break clauses in office leases and works in favour of landlords rather than tenants. Put simply, the ruling means that, if businesses have made any sort of overpayment when they trigger the break clause, their landlord is entitled to keep it unless their contract expressly stipulates that they are entitled to a refund. Since most businesses pay their rent at least one month in advance, many companies are at risk of losing money as a result.
This is just one example of the administrative minefield that can catch new businesses unawares and hamper growth and development. Fortunately, there are solutions to ease the burden. Certainly, there are plenty of freely available resources relating to business law and administration to guide business owners. But many are choosing another route altogether – that of flexible working. Here, businesses rent space on short-term contracts – space that is managed by a third party and that comes ready-equipped with all the necessary facilities in place. Businesses can simply turn up, plug in and get productive, with the office provider handling much of the back-office admin.
This flexible approach means businesses aren’t committing to long-term contracts, and can flex up or down with ease as their business needs dictate. It’s an ideal set-up for new recruitment firms, many of whom simply can’t predict their rate of growth with any accuracy.
It’s a well quoted statistic that approximately eight out of ten entrepreneurs who start small businesses fail in the first 18 months. Working flexibly is helping businesses to remove the administrative burden, and enabling full focus on service development and customer networking. Any advantage in such a tough business climate should be taken.