Meet Melissa—Telstra’s Young Business Woman of the Year Finalist 2018.
Melissa’s passionate about building a better industry – the Electrical Trades industry. A strange world for a young woman, but don’t tell Melissa that.
Her business, The Add Staff Group both recruits for the industry and mentors apprentices. She developed a partnership with the industry’s leading body and continues to double her business against the odds.
She’s an entrepreneur in the true sense of the word, creating something out of nothing taking the risks and wearing the battle scars.
Early on in her business, Melissa noticing that traditional recruitment wasn’t in demand. She quickly started offering the professional services in an unbundled fashion, simply charging for the hours spent on a job or a fixed price for elements of the recruitment process.
That was back in 2014, things have changed greatly from there.
Melissa engaged our services of a business mentor early in her business experience. In her words “I knew how to recruit – but not about the business side so much.”
Simple is always best – Survive in a competitive field was the early challenge. The focus: producing a steady income stream.
Melissa quickly recruited a colleague to help her. The two worked on both permanent recruitment and on the unbundled services approach. They had worked together before and knew the industry well.
Permanent recruitment is a big ticket item, and sales are dependent on not only securing the willingness of a client to work with you, but also then finding a suitable applicant, and coordinating a successful placement.
That’s a complex three phase process, and a risky business. Competition is intense with generally payment being dependent on successful commencement of the candidate. Imagine your accountant rushing to get your tax prepared first or they’re not getting paid. That’s the approach of many clients in the area.
Melissa doesn’t shy away from competition. She loves it, but cashflow remained a challenge particularly through the growth.
With the insecurity of relying on a contingent form of income, Melissa was rightly seeking to diversify her risk.
Traditional options were considered: running a temporary recruitment division, and even alternative versions of billing within that. But rather than solve the cashflow challenge, these seemed to exacerbate it. Needing to pay temporary employees well before being paid by clients wasn’t simply an option.
Exploring other Options
At this point, Melissa started to explore how she could make an impact in the industry. She’d enjoyed her time working for Master Electricians Alliance (MEA), the industry body. While there, she was looking after apprentices and mentoring them through the process, and helping clients complete all documentation and secure the appropriate funding.
MEA had recently ceased this operation. Melissa started to explore different models where she could utilise advances in technology and compliment this with a personal approach to helping apprentices through their apprenticeship.
She started scouting for interest from clients, and quickly a strong platform was created.
Growing the Team
As this division grew, it quickly drew resources from other areas of the business. While not profitable yet, apprentice mentoring was growing rapidly and required more efforts from the team and from Melissa too.
During this time, there was a strong focus on developing a culture of service and of action.
The team continued to grow cautiously, and additional team members were bought in– all passionate about the vision for the business and for the brand.
Commitment to Constant Growth
This has been the hallmark of Melissa’s success.
Utilising her passion, and complimented with out process a successful partnership has seen Melissa build from strength to strength.
Melissa’s blending of her passion for the industry and for the development of apprentices and young people entering the workforce, the use of innovation, and the progress of her leadership, have all combined to build a business with real character and a strength of purpose.
That’s your business mojo, and that is why Melissa continues to build her high performance business.
Drop me an email to reach out on firstname.lastname@example.org to explore how you can build your business confidence and develop a high performance team.