Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in human resources services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Simon Parkin, Founder of The Talent Company, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
The Talent Company is a leading management consulting firm specializing in human resource services and solutions. Our vision is to help organizations achieve their desired business outcomes through their people.
We believe in the power of people, and we work closely with organizations to develop, optimize and innovate their HR strategy and practices to best elevate their talent. We support our clients with recruiting, leadership & talent development, total rewards consulting, career transition & outplacement solutions, and HR services on-demand. Our HR services are tailored to fit the needs of our client's businesses and industries. The Talent Company successfully collaborates with client organizations of all sizes across every industry.
Tell us about yourself
As a former global HR Leader for several Fortune 500 companies, including Accenture & American Express, I saw an opportunity in the market to provide HR services and solutions to organizations in a better way and decided to leave the corporate world in 2008 and start my own business. I thoroughly enjoyed my close to 15-year career in the corporate world, but I always had a passion and drive to be an entrepreneur. I loved the level of personal accountability of being an entrepreneur….it was up to me to make this successful.
That same motivation continues today. I am fortunate to work with such a great team around me. My colleagues are the best of the best. Our drive to do great quality work and do it the right way is the consistent value that ties us all together. We care about who we work with and the work we do for organizations and their talent.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
There are so many accomplishments as a business owner I am so very proud of, but most of all, it's our people. The Talent Company has grown from being just me to now being a market leader in Greater Toronto, with well over 100 members on our team. We have grown by over 20% year over year, which allows us to always give back to our community, whether it is the several Not for Profits we support or the Human Resources profession we strive to elevate. We believe in always "leading with a give" to everyone we work with.
As a business owner, it is rarely easy, but I am fortunate to know at the end of the day, we have made a difference and do things the right way.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The best advice I received from entrepreneurs within my network when I decided to leave the corporate world to start my own business was that it will always be a rollercoaster of highs and lows. And 14 years later, the highs and lows continue. There are challenges to the business around every corner – being a business owner isn't for the faint of heart.
The months leading up to the COVID shut down in March 2020 were our best as a business up until that point. When the shutdowns were first announced, most of our business was put on hold. All I could think of was how am I going to continue to ensure every member of my team continues to be taken care of. I held a town hall meeting and put on a brave face committing to do everything I could to ensure everyone on our team would not lose their job, let alone lose any pay. After a month of little sleep and constantly checking-in on every member of our team to ensure they and their family were safe and had everything they needed, our clients began to work with us again. As a team, we are stronger today, going through the past couple of years together, and our business has never been stronger. It is always a rollercoaster as an entrepreneur.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Have a strong business plan and adapt it along the way. Be agile – don't be afraid to try new things to make your business stronger and more effective.
- Listen to the market – Your clients and prospective clients will tell you everything you need to know as a business.
- Network, network, network – Your network will be a major factor in whether your business succeeds or fails. Never take your network for granted – and always look for ways to give back to them.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.