Six lessons in launching a successful startup

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Building a startup takes determination, dedication and time.

Andrew Welsh started Meraki Talent three years ago, in January 2015. Since then his company has expanded from a one man team to a twenty person business with offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Launching your first business can (and should be) daunting; you cannot be expected to be an expert on entry. Here, Andrew shares six of the most important lessons he’s learnt whilst building a business:

Hire the best or make them the best

There’s no shortage in discussion of artificial intelligence; it would seem that AI is set to define the future of recruitment. However, even with these advances, the human element is still the fundamental core of recruitment. Your people are key, and so it is worth investing in them.

The team that puts the best team on the field will always win. Whether your ambition is to scale significantly or to be a boutique player, the quality of your people will define your company culture. Recruit the best staff, invest in the best training, keep your top performers happy. This will ultimately benefit your business more than a top-end website or new sourcing platform.

Data matters

Meraki Talent didn’t get it right first time when choosing a CRM system and it slowed our progress. Data drives business decision making, marketing, performance management and therefore overall customer experience; if your biggest biller can’t use a system, they are harming your business in the long run as if they feel they can get away with it then others will too.

Define your ideal client

Be very clear on your target market. Whilst recruitment is B2B, the buying behaviour you need to understand is still that of an individual (or collection of individuals in larger firms). If you have a strong understanding of your ideal client then you can shape your value proposition and differentiate yourself from competitors.

Cash is king

A fee isn’t a fee until it’s money in the bank. When running your own business putting the fee on the board isn’t where it ends. Ensure you know your client’s invoicing process, build relationships with their finance function and don’t hesitate to chase those late payers.

Don’t be afraid to pivot

Positivity and entrepreneurship go hand in hand. We make decisions based on the best information we had at that point in time. Those decisions don’t always prove to be correct, the important thing is to realise when you’ve made an error and put yourself onto a new path quickly.

Everybody knows something you don’t

Seek advice from those that have stood in your shoes; it’s both productive and reassuring. Whether they’re an industry expert or they’ve started their own business; any wisdom is good wisdom. Treat each conversation as a learning opportunity, a fresh outside perspective will only serve to better your business intuition.

Written by Andrew Welsh, CEO of Meraki Talent.


If you have the vision to build an extraordinary company then ensuring you have the resources and stamina to make it a long-term success is essential. These resources, whether they’re operational, financial or IT related, form the backbone of any recruitment business, providing the environment for your team to perform to their highest potential.

At Recruitment Entrepreneur we invest in people we believe will become great leaders and entrepreneurs. Our investment is not simply financial, we also provide dedicated services which will enable your business to flourish; ranging from operational strategy and back office support to talent attraction and graphic design. If you are interested in launching or growing a recruitment business register here.