Jumping ship: How much does it cost to start your own firm?

JD Scott + Co group of people in a startup working and laughing
So you’re thinking of spreading your wings and starting up your own recruitment firm? Here's what is will cost you, in Australia, today...

So you’re thinking of spreading your wings and starting up your own recruitment firm?

It can seem pretty daunting trying to factor in everything you need to have organised and considering all the costs involved. So, we’re here to help you with 7 simple steps to getting you set up in the most cost-effective way. 

A quick disclaimer before you read: None of the companies mentioned are sponsoring us. They’re just companies that we and our clients have used and recommended. Further, this list is more specific to those setting up as a sole-trader. We do recommend setting up your business as a company as soon as you find your feet to avoid being personally liable for contracts, debts or anything else business-related. Check out this article about business structure for more on this.

1. ABN & Business Name Registration – $88 for 3 years

Getting yourself an ABN (via ABR portal) is free and registering your business name through ASIC will cost $88 for 3 years. 

2. Business Bank Account – $8/month

It’s getting exciting now, you’ve got your ABN and business name, it feels more real. Now you need to get yourself a business bank account for all of those client invoice payments to land in. Most banks have fees of $0-$10 per month.

3. Brand Identity – $2,500 + once off

With branding, you get what you pay for. Seek out the services of a local graphic designer to help put together a logo, basic brand guidelines document including colour palette, type selection and brand ‘tone of voice’. They will usually develop mock-ups or designs for business cards, social profiles and other collateral as part of this process. Depending on the designer, this could cost anywhere from $2,500-$5,000. We have worked with this agency. A good Australian designer will charge $75-$150/h in our experience.

4. Domain & hosting for website and emails – Hosting & Domain +/-$150/year 

It’s pretty straightforward to claim yourself a website domain through services like Crazy Domains. The key point here is that your business will grow and you will be best served to plan for flexibility in the website builder you use and in the number of email addresses for staff you can have on the account. A standalone hosting plan is best for this scenario.

5. Website – $25/month

On the topic of websites, there are a bunch of user-friendly, drag and drop (WYSIWYG) websites to help you get started such as Squarespace, which is easier to manage than the more commonly used WordPress. If you pick an annual business plan, it’ll cost you $25 per month. The reason you would want the business plan is to utilise premium features like Google tags and Hubspot integrations.

6. LinkedIn Premium (optional) – $29.99/month

LinkedIn is the prime spot to scope out potential clients and their perfect candidates. Getting LinkedIn Premium is even better as it gives you access to InMail so you can directly get in contact with people. It’ll set you back $29.99 for every month you use it. 

7. Customer Relationship Management – $99/month

Now that everything’s set up and you’ve got some customers, how do you best manage them? How do you market yourself better? CRM heavyweights like HubSpot are the go-to in most industries, but in recruitment, we’ve noticed our clients use a CRM called JobAdder which is specifically designed to support the recruitment process.

8. Accounting software – $27/month

We would be a bit slack if we didn’t list a good accounting software like XERO or Quickbooks. Investing from the outset in the solution you will need when you are paying staff and running multiple accounts will be worth it in the long run.

So, enough detail, what is the cost of setting up my own firm?

With all of these considered, your shiny new recruitment firm will cost you at least $4,000 in your first year so factor that into your business budget. With all things considered above and maybe some budget for some merch like re-usable coffee mugs and pens for your clients, $7,500 is a healthy starting point in your first year.

We’re here to help anyone who wants to reach out in these turbelent times. Supporting small business is something we’re passionate about, so reach out for a quick chat.

Where to start?

Sometimes a 20 minute chat can help you get unstuck. At other times you might need something more substantial. Feel free to call me directly on 0404 530 563 or click below to see where we can help.

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