by Paul MacKenzie-Cummins, Editor and magaging director at ClearlyPR
I read a great interview in The Telegraph over the weekend, the title of which I have blatantly plagiarised and attributed to this article. The interview was with Patrick Drake, co-founder of HelloFresh – the fresh food delivery company.
The company was set up in 2011 and grew from a customer base of 10 (made up of family and friends!) to over 10 million today, yet the company still acts as though it was still a start-up. And it is that mentality that I think stands it in good stead – especially when it comes to how they market themselves.
“Growth has come from experimenting with every possible way to market the product,” said Patrick. “Even though we’re five years-old, we’re still acting like a start-up….We just spread eggs in plenty of baskets and hoped for the best.
When you are a start-up you have no idea what promotional activity will work and what won’t, you simply try several methods and see what is most effective. You don’t labour for days and weeks over where to invest your PR and marketing budget, you just get on with it because a) you don’t have time to fanny around, and b) time quite literally is money and start-ups need to get the money in the proverbial till sooner rather than later.
380 new recruitment businesses were established every month during 2016
We have met with a plethora of recruitment firms over the years and during the pitch meetings, 9 out of 10 will tell us how urgent it is for them to appoint a PR firm to get their name ‘out there’. Yet it can be several weeks – or even months in some instances – before they actually make a decision. Hardly ‘urgent’, is it?!
In January, we published figures obtained from Companies House that an average of 380 new recruitment businesses were established every month during 2016.
So for every month that goes by that you put off making your decision on whether to start doing PR or not, you are allowing an additional 380 new businesses to enter the market unchallenged. Over a period of six months that’s 2,280 new agencies.
Of course I am not suggesting that all 380 newly established agencies would be direct competitors of yours. But I can guarantee that at least one will be – that’s six over half a year.
I know from my perspective, if one or more new players entered the PR for recruiter’s marketplace I’d be upping our game even more than what we are already doing.
As Patrick concluded, “There’s a phrase about entrepreneurs – about them being people who throw themselves off the cliff and build the plane on the way down.” That approach may not be for everyone, but if you really want your business to grow you have to act quickly and make a decision.