How networking has helped to build Thompson & Terry Recruitment

Back in the winter months of 2013, Mike Terry (Co-Founder) and I were starting to build a plan of how we could launch our own recruitment agency. At the time I was fortunate to work for a well-established brand in JACKfm Radio Station that people wanted to talk to, but the journey I was about to embark on was very different. 

Launching a start-up business from your bedroom with a tiny budget (£500 to be exact) and almost no experience in the sector probably isn’t what they teach you in business books, but that’s exactly what we did.  

For this reason, we had to be clever, and when our competitors went left, we went right, as there would be no way we could compete in any other way. One of the first things we started doing was talking to the network, which at the time we never thought we had, but we couldn’t be more wrong, it was after all an old school friend that introduced us. 

I then attended my first networking event, which quite honestly looking back was terrible, which is a story for another day, but this didn’t deter me, I quickly became a ‘serial networker’. I always remember Mike Foster saying to me you could quite literally have breakfast, lunch and dinner within networking circles, which looking back I don’t think that was a challenge but I certainly took it that way and gave it my best shot! 

The huge benefit quickly started to shine through and very early on ‘networkers’ just wanted to help us, which was hugely comforting. From accountancy and legal advice, to marketing and business planning, it didn’t seem to matter. Anything we needed, somebody in our new found network would know somebody. I really can’t stress the value that support network gave us and actually in my view, was the biggest factor to help us grow.  

For any business the direct return on investment is important, and none more than a fledgling business and that really worked for us too. We completely understood it was all about ‘Giver Gain’ (to use a BNI phrase), so we did everything we possibly could to help everybody we could, and still do to this day and we really have gained. Prior to COVID-19, all of our business came from networking or our network, which is incredible after 6 profitable years in business.  

I have always been pretty confident in small groups, or in my small pond, but presenting to a room of 50 business owners, who at the time were on average double my age, was certainly daunting. I therefore took the President role, to chair the meeting every week, which was incredible and probably had the biggest impact on my professional development.  

In my experience, so many sectors, accountancy being a great example, recruit staff to ‘do the job’ and then 3-5 years and a couple of promotions later expect them to network, which at this point is unnatural. Aside from my own development and the development of my business, I also believe supporting junior staff to network has given us a real advantage when attracting, developing and retaining our team.   In summary, when reflecting as I write the piece, almost everything we have achieved has in some way come as a result of networking. If I can help you to gain as much value as I have, as a result of networking, please do reach out to me directly. 

Share your love