Funding boost sets young entrepreneurs on path to success

A Sheffield recruitment agency set up by two 22-year-old entrepreneurs is targeting a £500k turnover in the next 12 months after receiving funding from Bibby Financial Services.

Richard Sorsby and Adam Bramhall founded recruitment agency First Choice Healthcare Limited in February 2013.

Prior to forming the business, Richard had four years’ experience helping other entrepreneurs establish start-ups with administration and sales skills and Adam had previous experience as a nursing carer.

The recruitment agency provides temporary staff for privately owned care homes across south Yorkshire and currently has 70 staff on its books.

By working closely with other recruitment agencies, the business ensures every vacant shift is filled, even if First Choice Healthcare does not have an available employee at that time.

Explaining the decision to form the business, Richard said:

“I had seen so many other start-ups do really well and become really profitable very quickly.

“Having helped quite a few set up, I wanted to do it myself.”

The business has seen exceptional growth in the first eight months trading, quadrupling turnover every 12 weeks.

However, the first few weeks presented a funding problem that threatened to stifle the agency’s potential.

“Because of the huge demand for nursing home workers, we were running before we could walk.”

Richard added:

“It can take anything from one to three months to receive payment and we needed working capital straight away to pay staff and keep trading.”

The delay between placing staff and receiving payment meant that First Choice Healthcare required funding to ease its cash flow worries. The agency expanded at such a rate it required a reliable and flexible finance solution which would enable growth but not overload the business with fees and charges if trading slowed.

Richard said:

“I was approved for a bank loan but there was no way of keeping a cap on how high the charges went, as I had no guarantee on how long it would take for invoices to be paid.

“I could have easily ended up paying out more than I had coming in, so I needed a more cost effective option.”

It was at this point Richard turned to Bibby Financial Services for an alternative solution in the form of Forward Finance. “I had worked with Bibby Financial Services when I helped set-up other businesses, so I knew they provided a reliable service.

“I knew from the beginning how much I would be paying and they are great at keeping in contact.

“Forward Finance enables unpaid invoices to be uploaded to Bibby Financial Services’ online service, following which, up to 90 per cent of the invoice value is made available the same day.

“The team at Bibby Financial Services released funding for me quickly when I needed it and ensured the business could keep growing.

“Our next goal is to expand into Manchester and we have already started recruiting in the area.

“We hope to grow even more and establish the company as a leading player in the industry over the next year,” said Richard.

Mark Storey, managing director for Bibby Financial Services in Yorkshire and Humber, said:

“The temporary recruitment sector presents significant opportunities and it’s great to be able to help such an enthusiastic, young entrepreneur establish such a thriving business.”

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