16 YEARS AGO TODAY, I WONDER WHAT MY
FACEBOOK STATUS WOULD HAVE SAID….
‘’way hey, here we go!’’… or ‘’this
is going to be fun #newventure’’
Whatever it would have said, I am sure it would have shown a
naivety of the roller coast ride that and pure adventure that I started that
On the 7th July 2000, Think Global Recruitment was
As a 28 year old young woman who started her first business at the age of 6, left school at 16, bought her first house at the age of 17, opened her first shop at the age of 19, moved to Australia at the age of 21, then Scotland three years later, this seemed as though it would be easy.
I had broken all records at my last company, been promoted quickly and managed a very successful team. It felt there was nothing I could do wrong. Surely it would be easy running a business in an industry you have a successful track record in? What could go wrong?
My first months saw me learning fast including being on BBC Watchdog, budgeting, improved budgeting, revised budgeting, applying for grants, loans, external investment, motivating/attracting and retaining staff, dealing with the effects of 9:11 and my first recession in business!
5 lessons I learnt in the very early days
1: Others know better
Do not purchase computers because the manufacturer has a shop next to your favourite cookie shop…. Outcome if you do: flown down to be on BBC Watchdog to tell how Tiny Computers are bankrupting your business due to their faulty computers and rubbish service. Note to self: Get
advice from specialists, read reviews and get 3 quotes for business critical or items worth over £500.
2: Don’t be a sucker:
Advertising sales people can be persuasive, especially when they offer vanity projects such as your company plastered all over a taxi (a new concept in Edinburgh at the time). Stick to your budget or you could end up buying the world before any income comes in!
3. Have a contingency plan: Have a contingency plan: Two major world events in the very early stages of my business meant clients had less spending power and there were less people wanting to leave to fly somewhere else (an issue if you are in the business of moving people around the world). I certainly learned how to juggle with cash flow back then and was lucky to pick up some grants and loans whilst picking up a willing investor. Looking back at the Dot.Com ‘recession’ it was just a small glitch compared to the doom and gloom heavy recession years of 2008-2014 and now the uncertainty around Brexit/the potential break up of the UK!
4. What is for me isn’t necessarily for you: Know your people. Find out what motivates and demotivates the individuals in your team. I have always
been driven by helping others and making money. I love people telling me how to improve myself and learning new things. I love change. That does not mean others do. If you know what is important for your team then you can help them achieve just that. This will keep them engaged and achieving the best results for the reasons that motivate them.
5: Everyone needs passion: Recruit people who are passionate about what you do. Looking back, the people who have succeeded and stayed within the business for the long term were/are passionate about what we do and the company itself. If I could recruit people with only one trait, it would be passion for what we do. Improving Lives through finding people them their dream job in their dream location.
Abigail Stevens, Founder and Managing Director, Think Global