Published: 29 June 2020

It was about time…

It was the last week in June 2019 that I officially launched Bespoke Recruitment, the phrase “Better late than never” springs to mind. You know the saying, “If you fail to prepare…then prepare to fail”, you could say I’d been preparing for that day for 18 years. My recruitment career had started back in 2002 when I stepped into the Birmingham office of a company called RHR (Specialists in Retail Recruitment). Having relocated from Chester to Coventry, my initial approach was to ask if they could help me secure a local retail role. My consultant had other ideas, several interviews and an Assessment Centre later, my recruitment journey began. Little did I know back then that it would eventually lead to me launching my own business some 18 years later. It had been an interesting 18 years between the two events, I’d been involved in numerous start-ups and helped launch new offices for existing recruitment companies but it had always been as part of a wider team of colleagues, this time it was my dream.

Never too late to dream a new dream

With 18 years’ experience behind me, I launched Bespoke Recruitment confident I knew how to run a recruitment desk but now I faced the task of running “The Business” too.  I’ve never really been a businessman, unless you count the time I was elected as Managing Director of our Young Enterprise group back in college during 1988. My father started his own business in his 40's, which proved to me that you are never too old to follow a dream. So follow a dream I did and the last year has been amazing. Whenever you talk to people about the first year of running their own business, the main objective is  survival. Looking back, I’m proud to not only have survived but in many ways, I’ve thrived too. With a slight adjustment to allow for Covid-19, the business has exceeded many of the expectations I set back in 2019. I'm also pleased to have been able to continue to do the job I love whilst still having a smile on my face throughout.

I’ve always been a social person

I do consider myself a social person, anyone who knows me will know I love a good bit of banter and will also give time to anyone wanting a chat, wherever possible. One of the learning curves for me since I started Bespoke Recruitment has been the introduction to the use of social platforms to promote the business. I’ve been posting on my personal Facebook for years, have always had a LinkedIn profile and have even thrown the odd tweet or two out there. But it wouldn’t be an understatement to say that I didn’t know the mechanics behind any of these social sites and how best to use them to benefit my business. When I started in recruitment, agencies used to post Newspaper adverts (Yes, they really used to do that!). Realising the importance that social media can make to a small business, this was one area I needed to invest some thought into. I considered the outsource route once again but after careful consideration, opted instead to engage the services of a “Social Media Coach” to guide me through the jungle that is the social media world. Although I’m only a few months into this, it has been amazing so far. I need to say a big thank you to Christina and the team at Green Umbrella for all your help so far. I guess there was a time not so long ago I would have never posted a video on LinkedIn or known how to write a blog. Next stop, I'm going to ask my 10-year old what this Tik-Tok's all about.

With a little help from my friends

None of the success of this last year would have possible without the amazing support of friends and family. None more so that a very understanding wife, who has been amazing. Not only in terms of offering the family the financial security whilst the business got its revenue flowing but in terms of the emotionally support too. None of this would have possible without her support, I owe great gratitude to Ann…thank you. I consider myself lucky to have a number of friends in my life who have some great skills/experience that I have been able to call upon.Having a  Qualified HR professional and a Technical Director of a local web and design agency has been priceless during this first year.  I made a decision very early into the planning stage, that I wasn't going to try and take everything on myself. Although I’d spent the best part of my career recruiting professionals who could deliver a tax return with their eyes closed, I’d not picked up the sufficient knowledge to feel comfortable delivering my own. I am sure I will pick it up for future years, but I knew my time was best spent on what I do best, Recruiting. That's not to say I have pushed everything out to the professionals, this last 12 months have been such a great learning curve in so many ways. A huge part of my motivation these last 12 months has come from learning lots of new business skills, skills that have helped prove to myself that it's never too late to learn.  I can’t let this section pass without a big shout out to Hardeep, an Enterprize coach at the local chamber of commerce too. Her support and guidance, particularly in the very early stages of the start-up has been invaluable…thank you Hardeep.

Everyone should have a Lucky Park

Some of you may have seen my LinkedIn post about my Lucky park previously, for those that didn’t here’s the link. I am not an overly superstitious person, although you will never see me walking under a ladder. Part of my regular morning routine is to take Bella (My home-office buddy) for a walk before we kick off the day. It frequently means a trip to a local park, a great place to clear your head and gather the thoughts for the day ahead. Strangely, it has also turned into something of a lucky place for us. Whenever we take a visit that particular park, more often than not great things tend to happen that day, it’s become known as out Lucky Park.  My one tip for anyone starting their own business? Find yourself your own Lucky Park.

A huge "Thank You" from Bespoke Recruitment

On reflection, it has been an amazing 12 months. I could not be more grateful for the support I’ve had from everyone involved along the way. To all the Individuals that I have outsourced elements of the business to, all of the amazing clients, (many of whom have been very loyal to me over the years), all the candidates without who I wouldn’t have been able to do my job, thank you. To my amazingly supportive family and friends and just as important to YOU, the person who has read my blogs, liked my social media posts, possibly even shared an update to promote the services of Bespoke Recruitment, I am extremely grateful. As we move into Year 2 of trading, I’m looking forward to continuing to work with all these amazing people and hopefully make some new relationships along the way too. If you have any great banter you wish to share or perhaps you have a story of your own Lucky park, we would love to hear from you, please don't hesitate to contact us here.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all of you for making Bespoke Recruitment's first year so amazing.