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Top 5 Tips I Learned From Two Years Running A Recruitment Business

This month saw the two-year anniversary of Digital Union friend, Ronald James. Here, the founder himself, James Blackwell shares his top tips for success.

When I first started, I took a huge risk and started up with just a £15,000 loan, one credit card, running the business from my home and a small serviced office. Today, we have a team of 5 in the office, 12 remote staff and have nearly reached the £1 million revenue mark in just under 2 years. I wanted to use this article to not only share some unique tips and insights of what I have learnt within the first two years, but to showcase to others, that anyone can set up their own business.

Tip Number 1 – If you are thinking about starting a business, make sure you’re the leader of the business

It required extreme grit and determination throughout our first year to establish the brand, get the ‘Ronald James’ name out there, and market myself as the figurehead of the business. During this time I met with as many business owners as I possibly could, to ensure I surrounded myself a strong network who became our fundamental client base within the first six months. It’s important to note here that a crucial feature of securing your first clients is adding value. As a business owner you must give value first, and with that will come the monetary reward.

Tip Number 2 – Surround yourself with mentors

Self-development has become extremely instrumental to me; from day one I have invested a substantial amount of time into personal improvement. I ensured that I surrounded myself successful people who could share with me their unique tips and tricks on how to effectively operate and maintain a successful business.  Before starting the business I would meet with them for a coffee and make sure I found out some key ‘golden nuggets’ of information on what it truly meant to be successful.

Tip Number 3 – Always have a day plan

As a business owner, planning your day allows you to maximise your time. From day one I have had a day planner in which I would list my tasks to do, targets to hit, goals to strive for and document everything I needed to achieve that day. Now I even go one step further and colour code my tasks, allowing me to work on the business, not in it.

Tip Number 4 – Always watch the cash

“Cash is King”.

An infamous phrase shared with me when Dragons Den’s James Caan was looking to invest in my recruitment business. It is a quote that has stuck with me and has since encouraged me to keep cash at the forefront of my mind. In the beginning. I dedicated a lot of my time to maintaining our finances – I would ensure our invoices were paid on time and closely manage our outgoings. Although a strategic decision for a start up, this mindfulness did mean we had to make sacrifices within the office, such as cutting back on expensive business tools and office tools in the beginning.

Tip Number 5  – Enjoy the journey

As business owners we are always working towards the end goal, and it’s important that we don’t lose sight of that. However, it’s vital that you enjoy the journey. Running a business isn’t all about achieving the end goal, it’s about how you get there. Make sure you celebrate your success, enjoy the moments where you secure new clients, attract new talent, grow your team. Balance work life with family life, especially in the early stages as it’s easy to get consumed by the excitement of your new business.

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