Determined in Downturn
The Argus - 9th October 2012
LAUNCHING a brand new business during the deepest recession for decades might seem like lunacy to some.
But since starting in August 2008 Hove-based finance recruitment firm Grafton Banks has defied the downturn and is going from strength to strength.
Having seen a gap in the market founder Nigel Jeyes aimed to hit the Sussex scene as a hands-on, consultative financial recruitment company.
Mr Jeyes recruited Alex Gregory as a director of the new firm, who had years of experience recruiting accountants in the local market.
Grafton Banks Finance went live in September 2008 just as worldwide markets went into freefall.
Having both recruited in depressed markets prior to the company's formation they were confident that a focus on outstanding customer service was key.
As with most new start ups they did not have the capital outlay for extensive advertising and marketing and wanted to keep overheads low and cashflow moving.
They went out to market with their new business with determination and clear focus. The firm targeted Sussex businesses large enough to have a finance department and explained their approach.
They applied a similar method with candidates and quickly built up a reputation of being able to deliver.
Mr Gregory said: "We believed we had something really different and it was great when clients confirmed that with their enthusiasm and appreciation. It appeared that starting a new recruitment business at the start of a recession provided a unique story and the amount of support given by both businesses and individuals was extremely heartening."
Despite the downturn, Alex and Nigel steadily built the business to success, steering Grafton Banks Finance into profit within six months of a standing start. They won preferred supplier status to many of the bigger organisations in Sussex and developed close ties with the local SME community.
With an eye on the bottom line, they knew that careful expansion was necessary to keep the business moving forward.
Mr Jeyes said: "The winning partnership I have with Alex is based on a shared desire to not only run a successful business but to offer first class service to our clients without compromising on quality. That's what's most important to Grafton Banks."