I started a business with a baby: Amanda Ashworth of Excelsior Recruitment Partnership

Tell us a little about your business

Excelsior Recruitment Partnership is a specialist recruitment consultancy specialising in HR, PR, Sales and Marketing. We recruit in London and East Anglia we were established in July 2011. There are currently 3 of us working for Excelsior and we plan to expand this over the next year.

What was your job before starting your business?

I was working as a business development manager for a recruitment agency in Cambridge.

How did you go from your old career to your new business?

After having my son I decided returning to work in London wasn’t an option so I worked part time for a year before deciding to return to recruitment. I found that I was unable to fit into the 8am-8pm culture that is quite often found in recruitment whilst having a small child.

What were your reasons for starting a business? 

In the long term it was because I wanted to spend more time with Louis. But to start with it was to allow me to have more flexibility, but also more control over what I was able to earn.

Did you use any childcare? 

Louis was already going to nursery 3 days a week and his granddad was looking after him the other 2 days. I try to spend an hour with him in the morning and to pick him up at 5 every day. Once Louis is in bed I then do a few more hours work. I made the decision that, although I wasn’t sure I could afford childcare with not knowing how much I would earn, Louis was settled in nursery and his happiness was most important.

How did you get your business idea?

Having worked in recruitment for 8 years I had seen how other companies did it and as I was running a small agency I knew the market well. Two colleagues and I decided that we had made money for other people and had to work under people when we didn’t agree all the time with the business direction, we had nothing to lose but to go it alone.

What were your challenges and how did you overcome them?

Knowing we had to secure funding in order for the business to go ahead. The last few months have been a massive learning curve with us learning new things all the time. We had to get our name out there quite quickly without spending a massive amount on marketing so have really embraced social media.

What training, information or advice did you need to get started? 

We sought advice on our website and also our marketing strategy.

If you could give one piece of advice to a mum of a baby or toddler starting a business, what would it be?

You need to be prepared to work in the evenings and be organised. We have got ourselves into a routine and I am lucky now that Louis likes nursery/spending time with his granddad but sometime it does feel like I have done a day work before I get to the office.  You also need to be passionate about what you do as its important you enjoy it. Seek advice and support from friends and family as you never know when you will need to call on them.

To find out more information about Excelsior Recruitment Partnership please visit the website www.excelsiorpartnership.co.uk

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