A few days ago, Procivi clocked 9 months and it’s been an interesting journey so far. And least I forget, it’s 9 months on paper, but actually 7 months since operations began. If you have ever participated in the journey of building a startup, you’ll know it is something not suitable for the faint-hearted.
Procivi started with just me as the main driver handling all the key functions ranging from licensing, corporate documentation, business plan designs, branding, etc. The worst-case was no funding, no budget, no backup funds. When we talk about starting from scratch, this was a clear definition. It’s one thing to build a startup with a perfect idea and some budget. It’s another to build a start with just an idea and an immense amount of faith.
However, I have a vision and a dream. I so much want to help curb the frictions found in the career industry especially with recruiting. Having worked with professionals as a CV writer for more than 4 years, I got to get a first-hand view of the gap between talents and employers.
I decided to take a go at it. I wanted desperately to fix this issue… to help talents find good-paying jobs and help companies find the best hands money could get. After all, great companies build great companies.
Richard Branson once said for him to be able to manage several companies and still have time for holidays and vacations, all he needed to do was to employ people who were smarter than him. This resonated with me. Why employ you if I keep fixing the errors in your deliverables?
I remembered when the journey started, I actually wanted Procivi to focus fully on working with just talents and professionals, you know, help them re-tell their career stories so they stand out perfectly when it’s time to source for jobs.
It’s what I have been doing casually for 4 – 5 years. But now, I thought, how about building a corporate structure. How about getting a full-time team. So Procivi was born.
B2B vs B2C business model.
I am so for being a part of the Startup School by YCombinator. I not only learned how to build a startup, I gained something very valuable – a new network. Kudos to the guys at YCombinator I am now a part of a network of over 600 startups, founders, and CEOs. Trust me, it’s AMAZING!!
Pre-Procivi, my “casual” CV writing, and careers advisory business had a peak revenue of approximately N3 million annually. I was somehow stuck at this level. I wanted to expand and scale. All I had to do was rebrand and create a working system that will allow for the assimilation of more hands.
But something happened. I was fixated on a conflict of either to continue with my present B2C business model or switch to a B2B business model. I wanted to help professionals stand out but I also wanted to make money….plenty of money.
So, I discussed with a friend and a fellow SUS graduate, Mr. Tolu who is the CEO at InstiQ. And just for your curiosity, InstiQ is doing very well providing IT services to the BFSI (Banking and Financial Service Institutions) sector.
“My brother, you’ll get rick quicker with a B2B business model. It’s very difficult to break even with this model, but if you work hard enough, you’ll scale quicker than when you use a B2C model”.
He gave me a series of examples and deeper insights and I saw the light.
Quickly, I changed Procivi’s business model to a B2B model. I decided to focus on core recruiting. I knew it was going to be hard, but I had to do it. I can still help professionals (as subdivision) and build a very profitable company.
Do I have a clue about the sector I’m venturing into? Yes. In fact, according to a report by the World Economic Forum, the staffing/employment industry reached an estimated value of over $500 billion in 2018, a slight increase of 2% compared with 2017. The global recruitment market expanded by 5.4% in terms of revenue. In 2019, the staffing market generated up to $500 billion in pure revenue.
Do I have companies I study in the industry? Yes. I study a lot of companies. I want to build a multinational recruitment firm with hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. Randstad, one of the biggest (if not the biggest) players in the recruitment industry generated $23.81 billion in revenues in 2018 and currently parades more than 38,000 staff globally.
Despite being passionate about fixing the recruiting industry, I recently discovered it’s a sector I believe I’ll love so much when it comes to building a business. Call it a chanced fortuity. Not just the profitability but the consistency and stability were totally riveting.
See this chart below from Statistia;