Arguably one of the most important details for any new recruitment business, you’ll want to spend time developing a good name. If you think you might want to sell your business in the future, you should avoid naming it after yourself. Potential buyers will be coached not to pay for “goodwill” such as the brand name, especially if you leave the business when you sell it. You may also want to avoid cute, gimmick-y names and spellings. Think about how your name might work with a logo. It’s a good idea to have a couple of viable options in case one is not available. Ask others for feedback.
Before you fall in love with a name, make sure the domain name is available, preferably with a .com extension (in the USA). If other domain extensions are available (.net or .co.uk, for example), consider whether to purchase those variants as well. Domain names are often inexpensive and it can help you protect your intellectual property. Take a careful look at how your domain name looks with no spaces between the letters – our old domain was npainc.com … and we had it for YEARS before anyone noticed the word “pain” right in the middle of it. Not a great word to associate with your company! You’ll also want to make sure people can easily type the name, especially on a mobile device. For SEO purposes, you may want a domain name that incorporates a major keyword – something like “findaccountants.com” if your niche is accounting and finance. Of course, don’t forget to make sure your name is not already in use – no one wants to deal with a cease-and-desist action for copyright infringement.
USP / Unique Selling Proposition
What recruitment service(s), specifically, are you providing, and how is it different from your competitors? Unless you know you are the only provider within a narrow niche, you will have competitors and you need to distinguish your new recruitment business from what is already in the market. Years ago, I heard Jeff Kaye say that if you cannot differentiate your service, you’ll be forced to differentiate on price and it has always stuck with me. Unless your USP is to be the cheapest provider of ________, (and you can make a living doing that), you’ll have to know how to position yourself. Maybe you have a specialized process. Maybe you are working a micro-niche. Maybe you are a geographic specialist. For many, if not most, businesses, developing a USP is difficult. This is worth getting right. Start by focusing on your ideal customer and the problem you can solve for them.
A solid marketing plan will increase your odds of success, so take the time you need to make sure yours is great. Start with market research. You’ll want to know things like short- and long-term hiring projections, whether the industry is growing or contracting, how many potential candidates exist, etc. You’ll also want to know about other trends that may impact your fledgling business – from WFH to the gig economy to housing – these and many other factors play a role in setting up your new recruitment business. If you are located in an area where the cost of living is high, will you be able to convince people to move there? You’ll also need to identify your target market – what size companies? Privately-owned? Start-ups? Then you can work on how to position your service.
Don’t forget specific marketing tactics like your website and social media. You may be tempted to hold off on developing a site until revenue starts coming in, but that may not be a good strategy. Candidates and clients alike expect you to have a good online presence. If your business will rely heavily on attracting candidates, you need a site that offers a strong candidate experience and an easy way to apply from a mobile device. Inbound marketing activities can help you build a warmer (and fuller) pipeline, which in turn leads to easier and more effective outbound sales activities. Social media offers an affordable way to get in front of your audience and it’s often extremely targeted.
Round out your plan with a detailed budget plus metrics you plan to monitor. About half of small businesses fail within the first five years. Increase your odds of success by doing your marketing homework.
For a more comprehensive read on starting a recruitment business, check out this post.