If you’re looking to start a recruitment agency, you’ll need to create a business plan as any other startup would. Remember, though, that you’ll need to also account for the specific situations that might arise while working in the recruitment industry.

This article will serve as a guide to writing a great business plan for your recruitment agency. We’ll look at what your plan should look like, as well as why a plan is important. The topics we’ll cover include:

  • Why a business plan is important
  • How to write a business plan for a recruitment agency
  • Examples of SWOT analysis for a recruitment agency
  • How Countingup can benefit your recruitment agency

Why a business plan is important

Provide direction

There are a few different reasons why you need a business plan before starting a business, but one of the most important is that it will guide your business going forward. Without a plan, no matter how simple the plan is, you’ll likely struggle to develop your business and make effective decisions. 

A business plan doesn’t have to be set in stone — you can adapt it to account for any unique events that affect your recruitment agency. That said, it’s essential to have at least a vague idea of the purpose your business will serve, the potential obstacles you might encounter, and how you’re going to deal with those obstacles.

 Minimise risk 

A business plan is also necessary to minimise the risk you’ll face when starting a recruitment agency. One of the key sections of a business plan is the SWOT analysis, where SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

In order to minimise risk effectively, it’s vital that you analyse both the weaknesses of your agency as well as the threats it may face. In doing so, you’ll be able to fix your weak points and avoid potential threats more effectively.

Reduce spending

Finally, business plans are important because they provide valuable data for minimising your spending. For example, during your SWOT analysis and financial planning, you may find that you’ve budgeted a large amount of spending to support a part of your business that’s actually very strong. 

In a recruitment agency, this might mean you’ve planned to spend a lot of money on marketing, but your business already has a strong brand because you (as the owner) have many good personal contacts in the industry. In this instance, you can safely reduce your marketing budget and save your business money. 

How to write a business plan for a recruitment agency

Market research 

Thorough market research is the best first step when you’re writing a business plan. Market research means examining the industry your business will exist in, and finding out the needs and preferences of that industry’s consumers.

For a recruitment agency, a key research topic for your business plan would be finding out the impact COVID-19 has had on the market. Many new markets emerged during the pandemic, which you can provide your services to. As the UK is currently recovering from the pandemic, it would also be wise to look into which industries are now recruiting heavily after laying off staff in recent years.

Budgeting and financial planning

Planning out how you’ll spend your money when starting your agency is also a key part of a good business plan. You need to consider your budget for starting the business as well as how you’ll manage your business finances going forward.

It’s smart to prepare a budget for each section of your business. For instance, you might set aside different amounts for recruiting staff, purchasing business premises, and marketing. Your advertising budget is particularly important when you’re a small business, as you may not be able to rely on personal contacts or existing clients for referrals, so you’ll need to attract clients independently.

Examples of SWOT analysis for a recruitment agency

Conducting a SWOT analysis is a great way of evaluating your business even after starting up, but it’s particularly helpful when you first put together your business plan. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, so a SWOT analysis requires you to think of an example of these for your business. In a recruitment agency, these might be:


As mentioned above, it may be that you have a good reputation because you have a wealth of experience and personal connections in the recruitment industry, so you’ll not need to worry as much about marketing.


Recruitment agencies frequently have to use a lot of software to track their clients’ needs and organise candidate applications. If you’re not very good with technology, you may need to hire staff who are to account for this weakness.


The UK is currently rebounding from the struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this presents a wealth of opportunities for a good recruitment agency.


You need to take immense care when you’re handling people’s personal information, which you’ll often do at a recruitment agency. Sending this information to the incorrect person can have a considerable negative impact on your business, as there is a lot of new legislation regarding privacy. 

How Countingup can benefit your recruitment agency

Your business plan should include a good amount of financial planning, as tracking your cash flow (your incoming and outgoing cash) is hugely important in any business. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one app. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here.