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Andy Sellers 27.04.2015 3Search Updates

9 months in: what we’ve learned as a successful start-up

Nine months ago we were three guys working out of a flat in Clapham with MTV Classics playing in the background and an idea. Back then we had a vision: provide all of the services of a great recruitment company, but do it with a personal touch and unparalleled service standards.

One of the things we want to do via this blog is to share updates on how we’re progressing towards achieving that vision, and some of the lessons we’re learning along the way (see our previous posts in this series from November and February). Nine months in seems like a good time to take a quick look back and to reflect on the progress we’ve been making.

Some things haven’t changed – Andy still likes his food, Joe’s hair loss shows no sign of abating, and Charlie still isn’t as funny as he likes to think he is. But a lot has changed in a short space of time: we’re now a team of five (welcome Jasmine and David!) with our next arrival not far away, we have a great office in Victoria, and we’re fortunate to be working with some fantastic candidates and clients across marketing, digital and bid management.

What, though, are the five key lessons we’ve learned as a successful start up through the last nine change-filled months?

1. Focus on the line, not the dot – We’re really fortunate that we set up 3Search with a strong vision that all three directors have shared. One of the key things we’ve had to remember as we go along is that, no matter what is happening day to day – whether it’s a success or a setback – we need to continue to focus on delivering our long-term strategy.

2. Its all about relationships – One of the major reasons we set up 3Search was because we believed that if we could put people – our clients and our candidates – first and foremost we could offer a much higher quality and fulfilling experience for all of the participants in the recruitment process. It was true when we started, and todays it’s truer than ever. That’s why we work hard to build and maintain strong relationships. To give this a further boost we’re planning a programme of cracking breakfast seminars for senior leaders in the marketing and digital sectors over the summer. Watch this space!

3. People want to help – We’ve been really fortunate that so many friends and contacts have helped us out. We’ve always found that enthusiasm is infectious and therefore, because we’re finding this such an exciting project, it is no surprise that others want to be involved. The lesson, though, is to remember that this is our vision and our project. Now that we’re more established we’ve got the confidence to accept help and advice where it’s appropriate, but also to stick to our guns and deliver on our plan in our own way.

4. Work with people you like – Now that we’ve added to the team the dynamic has changed for the better. The office music tastes have evolved (we’ve moved from MTV Classics to Radio 1), but we continue to get on well as a team. We can’t imagine how difficult this would be if we didn’t get along, so if we have one piece of simple advice it is to work with people you like. There will be ups and downs and you need to be able to get through them!

5. Keep it lean – As with Andy’s waistline our expenditure has started to expand. That is to be expected as we have moved into new offices and taken on new team members. A key lesson for us, as with all startups, is to remember that it is important in this early period to be cautious – we’re expanding steadily as more clients and candidates come to us, but we’re being careful not to move to take on too much too soon.

We are still working as hard as we were in the very early days – when we worked 18 hours a day from our front room. Taking the time to reflect about these five lessons has really left us feeling that, while we’re still working as hard, we’re also still enjoying it as much. And the key reason we think we’re still enjoying it so much? Because we’re sticking to our original plan and we can all see that we’re going in the right direction.

We’re working with more clients than ever before and have more great jobs than ever before for exceptional candidates. If you’re looking for a new opportunity be sure to check out the 3Search jobs page or get in touch with us to discuss what 3Search can do for you.

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