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4 Years In Business - Director's Thought

February 11th, 2019. I remember it well…

Written by myself, Joe. Want to have a chat to learn more?

I was on a train back to Ipswich after visiting Newcastle. A journey I had made so many times before – the 4-to-5-hour journeys, back and forth, which to be fair I didn’t mind too much but it did involve some ghastly early wake up calls and time away from home. The sheer amount of delays, changes, unable to get a seat on some services – all now memories from 4 or more years ago.


I’d already purchased the email accounts and domain for Educated Appointments so I could correspond with all the services needed to start a business. However, the night before, I’d received email notification that I was successful in my attempt to receive a Government Business Start-Up Loan. Safe to say that some beers were annihilated that evening and celebrations took place whilst watching Monday Night Football at a local pub. It was happening. I was finally going to start my own business which was something I had dreamed of since I was a teenager.

On that train journey, on the 11th February 2019, I registered Educated Appointments Ltd with Companies House and the journey began.


During my teenage years, the dream of starting my own business was there but I didn’t have a clue what the business would do. It wasn’t until about 5 years into my career within FE that I started to understand where my future would lie. I’d used a handful of recruiters within the sector and one thing was shouting out to me – customer service. Where were the updates? Where was the value? Where was the relationships? Where was the fun? This was all part of my ethos and one I could carry into a start-up business. 

My experiences were within the recruitment of apprentices into organisations across the country and leading teams to do so, as well as business development and sales in general. I loved it and knew this was what I was good at, so it made complete sense to me to start a recruitment agency for the further education and skills sector. I understood the sector, thrived in it and could offer a niche recruitment product that came with knowledge and experience within the sector itself. I was going to use all of my knowledge I had gained from the past 7 years and couple that with high-level customer experience for both client and candidate and build an agency that people would respect. But I was also going to do this by making sure fun was at the forefront of everything I did.

We spend such a large chunk of our weeks at work and I was lucky that I’d worked for a company which I loved. Starting a business was by no means a way of me sticking two fingers up to my previous employer; I genuinely wouldn’t have left for anything else but to start my own business. It was imperative to me that anybody I worked with at Educated Appointments, whether that be a client or a candidate, got to see the personality behind the recruiter and experience laughter, which everybody should experience daily. Work is tough and sometimes it causes stress that is unexplainable, so laughter on a daily basis is absolutely essential to make working a better environment. 

4 years ago, the dream started and to say that I’m sitting here writing a blog about it whilst I can see two of the hardest working people I know busting a gut to help make this company a success fills me with pride. I was confident we’d be here after 4 years otherwise I wouldn’t have started it, however I knew there was a risk as there always is with a start-up. But I’ve always had the mentality that the only reason this business would fail would be because of me. If I didn’t work hard enough or achieve my original ethos, it wouldn’t work. 

It's important to point out it hasn’t been straight sailing. There have been tears, sleepless night, endless worrying, stress beyond what I could have imagined. But with good people around me (my wife, children, family, friends and now colleagues), they’ve all got me through by believing in me. However, I’ve always said, ‘If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else will’. And I like to think these people believe in me because they can see how passionate, dedicated and ambitious I am every single day. 

Plans for the future? Of course there are. I don’t have timeframes on them but I know what I want to achieve and how to achieve it. But for now, I’m on my surfboard riding the wave. I cannot guess what’s to come, however I know that I can react to any situation in a way that I choose to.

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