Growth, naturally, is crucial to any recruitment business. But how you grow is as important as growing itself. So is it better to expand by buying or partnering other firms – or to rely on extra business coming from new and existing clients?

It’s a long-held maxim across many sectors – not just recruitment – that the best way to grow your business is through your existing client base. But in recent years, the low cost of borrowing to fund acquisitions has led many smaller agencies to look at expanding through buying or partnering with others.

On the face of it, acquisition looks like a great option. It allows rapid expansion, particularly into new geographical or market areas, can be relatively inexpensive and attracts media attention for good publicity. One of the downsides, however, is that it can be very disruptive. However good the ‘fit’ on paper, it’s not always easy combining different cultures, and can easily affect the personality of your business – so much so that you can easily end up moving forward in several different directions at once.

Organic growth on the other hand, represents the most natural and waste-free way to expand your business. It’s smarter, cheaper and more deliberate than acquisition, allowing your business to develop a stronger foundation to build over time. By working with your clients, your business effectively grows as a series of relationships giving you the flexibility to adapt to a changing business environment while staying focused on your long-term goal.

That’s why, according to the 2019 Global Recruitment Insights and Data survey, 75% of businesses were expecting to grow by expanding business from new and existing clients. And if you’re looking to grow your own business organically, here are a few things to remember.

See relationships as a valuable growth asset

Your relationship with clients is the single most important factor in successful organic growth. So keep that relationship ticking over with regular emails and newsletters, catch-up phone calls and advice on any new developments that might affect them, and use your network to help them – and you – grow.

Stay client-focused

Be honest and open with your clients at every stage – after all, the worst thing any recruiter can do is over-promise and under-deliver. If you can’t help them with a specific requirement, recommend someone who can; it’ll pay off in the long-term.

Focus on face to face

Technology’s become more and more important in recruitment in recent years – but there’s simply no substitute for spending time with clients and meeting them face to face. It allows you to understand them better, discuss what’s coming up in future cross-sell other parts of your business to help solve their recruitment problems.

Have the right talent on-board

If you’re looking to grow from within, it’s important to hire the right talent yourself; strong growth depends on a strong root system – in other words, your staff. So look at the specific skills and experience you need and hire accordingly.

Use your time wisely

To grow effectively, you need to dedicate your time to delivering client service, developing your business and guiding the business wherever you want it to go, rather than dealing with day-to-day processes and administration that can be outsourced. Which is where Back Office can help, of course!

Back Office can handle all your admin and support your business in all sorts of ways, so you have more time to focus on growth. Find out more by talking to the Back Office team on 01260 280 290.