Bonita Wood, co-founder of Prima Ardelle Associates, explains what she discovered when starting their recruitment franchise business.

Why did you start Prima Ardelle Associates recruitment?

I had looked at many other business opportunities from specialist coffees shops cafes to travel agencies and high street estate agencies before falling into recruitment by chance. This business satisfied my list of needs from a business namely being a low-cost start up that involved no weekends (this was a must!), with a good return on investment, i.e. profit, as this is fundamentally what you are paid on.

So why recruitment?

I was quickly put off the coffee shop business due to the thought of standing and working long hours. Travel agencies, after looking into them, just did not have the margins I was looking for and the cost of putting an estate agency branch into the High Street, and again working weekends, was prohibitive. Recruitment seemed like it ticked most of the boxes I required with a young family.

What did you do beforehand?

I was a Branch Manager in the consumer finance industry before having children.

Did you have transferrable skills?

Yes, customer service experience and business development over the telephone.

How easy is it to operate this business?

With the full training and support we give, combined with following the systems and hard work, you will get the results required.

Can it really be run from home? I thought recruiters needed an expensive shop front.

If you have the space to operate from home. its the most cost effective way of running this business. You really don’t need the expensive high street shop front to make a success of this.

I am a mum looking to return to work from the corporate world with two children - how easy is this business to run?

Working in the corporate world, you will be used to following systems and following a work flow. This business is the same. As long as you have the enthusiasm and comitment it will work for you. It is difficult to balance work and family when working for someone else; a Prima Ardelle business gives you more flexibility. I have always dropped my children to school and never missed a sports day or the Nativity in the last 10 years.

I don't want to miss my children growing up - would I have to work at weekends or long hours?

You won't have to work any weekends, as we operate sensible office hours 9am – 5:30pm Monday to Friday. I am always available to take my children to evening activities (football in my house) and I have never worked a weekend. I will make the odd evening call to a candidate I am unable to speak with during the day, but this is not every night and easily fits in with my schedule.

I thought recruitment was a complicated business - what initial training and support would I have access to?

You will have an initial two-week intensive training period, which is split between a week at our training centre with comprehensive modular style induction course then a further week in the field with an experienced member of the team. There is ongoing support from our support and training centre.

What background would an ideal franchisee come from?

If you have experience of account management, business development, sales, consultancy gained from industries like retail, financial serives and mortage advising, B2B, estate agency and property, then this business opportunity would almost certainly be up your street as you will be used to speaking to people over the phone or face-to-face.

Briefly describe a typical day as a Prima Ardelle recruitment franchisee

Recruitment is all about talking to people, candidates and clients. In a nutshell, your day is broken up into three parts: candidate registrations, business development (over the phone and out in the field) and administration, such as arranging interviews, giving feedback, discussng job offers, taking new vacancies and searching for new candidates.

What sort of skills do I need to bring to the table to make this as successful as possible?

Good customer service skills, be able to multi-task and manage your day effectively, be able to identify opportunities, excellent communication skills and the ability to pick up the phone to clients and go out on field visits. Going out and about in your area as a regular ongoing activity is crucial especially in the early days whilst you build up your regular clients.

What earnings can I realistically expect if I follow your methods?

As a business owner, the rewards are always in your control and will be based on your efforts and commitment. In your first year I can show you exactly what you would need to do in order to earn between £35,000 and £55,000, trading from our home-based offering. Just one placement made by you per week could give you between £4,500 to £7,500 per month gross income.

I'm interested - what now?

Why not register your interest and, without obligation, we can arrange an informal chat, where I am more than happy to discuss how a Prima Ardelle Associates recruitment business could work for you.