Why the Independent Resourcing Consultancy chose funding to unlock new markets
Challenge: Opening up a new vertical and ramping contract recruitment.
Solution: Cashflow and back office support at the ready
Results: All set for growth
Lewis Greene is a natural entrepreneur. He set up his first recruitment practice aged 18, grew it, sold it, and is now expanding his second company called Independent Resourcing Consultancy, or IRC.
He’s already got staff on four continents.
“I’ve learned so much and made so many mistakes,” admits Lewis, in keeping with his natural candour. “What I can say is I’ve taken all the lessons from my first company and taken them to this one.”
IRC places permanent staff in the IT, financial services, legal, and healthcare sectors. Now the restless Greene is trying a couple of new things: a dental practice focussed on India, and a move into contract work.
The dental practice is a potential master-stroke.
“We launched IRC Medical six months ago,” he explains. “There’s a huge demand for dentists in the UK. It’s all over the press. So we decided to look further afield. We opened up a Mumbai office to recruit Indian nationals with the right qualifications and fly them to the UK. We are recruiting dentists, nurses, hygienists, dental technicians and therapists. We are a concierge service, holding their hands during the visa application, helping them navigate the .gov website, and other challenges. The reaction from the dental sector in the UK suggests one of huge excitement.”
It’s a massive opportunity. Currently nine out of ten NHS dental practices are close to new patients. Sourcing dentists from India could be a godsend.
The move into contracting is an equally big leap. “We are ready to launch,” says Greene. “We want to build recurring revenue into our business model. Until now revenue has been 100 per cent from recruitment. Therefore it’s going to be incredibly hard to know on day one how much we are going to generate. It’s impossible to know.”
To manage risk, Lewis is working with Sonovate.
“I know from my previous experience that managing cash flow will be critical,” says Greene. “We’ll be integrating Sonovate with our accounts package, KashFlow, so Sonovate can take care of all the credit control stuff.”
The real advantage is the power of Sonovate’s platform, says Greene.
“The back office is key for us. The admin. We need to keep it to a minimum. Sonovate will help save money by managing jobs and raising invoices. Without Sonovate we’d need to hire someone to take care of all of that. It’s so important to us. Sonovate means we can continue to do what we do best, which is building relationships with clients.”
Greene and his team at IRC reviewed a number of potential financial funding partners. “We had numerous conversations,” reveals Green. “I’ll be honest, Ross, the consultant at Sonovate, did a great job. He reminds me of me when I was younger! He listened and came up with the solutions we needed. He wasn’t pushy. Others kept ringing every five minutes. Ross left me with the information I needed to make an informed decision and left me to it. There was absolutely no pushing whatsoever. That, for me, was key.”
The goal is to grow IRC over the next five years, with a view to another sale. “I’ve learned it’s not about just increasing headcount,” says Greene. “It’s about extracting the maximum from your existing staff. Use the right technology so they can do their best work, no matter where in the world they happen to be located.”
Over time, he’s learned it’s about using technology to build close relationships with staff and customers, which may be located anywhere on the globe. “We do Zoom calls on a Monday to create a plan of action and get everyone talking. We want people to share their successes from their previous week and feed off the positivity. We have a WhatsApp group where we share ideas. Friday is games day. We use technology to build our company culture, and learn about each other, to become a team.”
This serial entrepreneur now believes he’s got the right mix of talent, technology, and plans on the go to be a huge success. “The economy may be struggling, but things are looking great going forward. We are incredibly excited about what we can achieve in the next year.”