How to create a startup budget

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If you’ve always worked within other businesses before, you may not know how to create a startup budget. Well fear not, because it’s not as hard as it sounds and we’ve got some helpful advice to help get you started.

Creating a budget for your recruitment agency startup is important because it helps to define the financial goals and resources available. It provides an overview of how your agency will grow, how much money is required to get to break-even and then reach profitability, and where in the coming months spend will need to be allocated.

A startup budget allows business owners (and investors) to analyse a startup’s finances and determine which strategies or plans are most effective and likely to provide the best return.

Startup budgets at Bluestones Group

At Bluestones, we do things a little differently. Because, as an investment company that’s focused on the recruitment sector, we’ve refined the way that we work, streamlined the startup launch process, and provide a range of inclusive support services to the companies we’re investing in.

It means that although we need to create a startup budget, many of the costs you’d typically expect to see for a startup company are either covered by us, or significantly reduced through the Group’s economies of scale and combined purchasing power.

We do still require all investment companies to produce startup budgets as part of our investment process and due diligence… because we have to know what we’re investing in and understanding how a business will grow, and the cost of that growth, is naturally important when making such decisions. You can find out more about this when starting a new investment enquiry, as you’ll be asked to complete our simplified startup budget as part of that process too.

Key points to understand about startup budgets

Understanding your costs

As a helpful starting point, we’ve outlined the majority of typical costs that should be included in a recruitment startup budget.

  • Initial set up costs TBC

    Website design, logo creation, company incorporation, legal documents & contracts, etc.

  • Employee salaries / commissions TBC

    PAYE vs dividends consideration - and how this will be funded.

  • Website hosting / promotion TBC

    e.g. choosing a web CRM, a hosting provider, the underlying technology, etc. - and whether subscriptions are required. Then SEO, maintenance/support, and ongoing promotion will all be required.

  • Premises / office space TBC

    Will you work from home or use shared serviced offices, or find dedicated premises?

  • Utilities TBC

    Gas, electricity, broadband, etc.

  • Professional services & subscriptions TBC

    e.g. Accountancy services, LinkedIn Recruiter / Sales Navigator, etc.

  • Job boards TBC

    Which are essential for your business? Do you really need hundreds of vacancy advertising credits? Or do you just need CV searching options?

  • Software subscriptions TBC

    e.g. recruitment CRM / ATS, Office 365, etc. - and aside from licensing, there may be customisation requirements too, to make the system relevant for your sector or way of working.

  • IT equipment TBC

    Laptops, phones, printers, scanners, etc. - but do you really need the latest and greatest equipment? It's a common pitfall of many startups to get carried away with the excitement of launching their new business that they can let costs such as these get out of control.

  • IT support TBC

    Will this be real-time support? Will it be offshore support? Do you need external help or will the support you need be built into the contracts you've signed elsewhere (e.g. for your recruitment CRM).

  • Funding TBC

    Last but not least is understanding how you will fund your startup. Will this be from personal savings, angel investors, business loans, or via a dedicated investment company like Bluestones Group.

Additional resources

Additionally, there are some good free resources that are already available online that can help you with your startup budgeting process.

This budget template for new business owners from Gusto, is one such resource that’s free and easy to use. Alternatively, check out the wide range of business budget templates available from HERE.

About Bluestones

Bluestones Investment Group invests in staffing service companies. We operate a balanced portfolio of businesses in specific divisional sectors and are always keen to receive investment enquiries.

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What you need to know

Although our existing brand portfolio operates across five core sectors, we’re not restricting future investments to just those. If you have a good proposition and a believable plan, that’s half the battle – so talk to us today about how we can help.

We’ve refined our start-up process so that we can typically launch a new recruitment business, fully set up with all the necessary branding, systems, and accounts, within a matter of weeks. 

Firstly, we need you to submit your investment enquiry. You can do that HERE.


As long as there’s sufficient detail in there, our Investment Director will review your proposal. All investments submitted will receive personal feedback.


After that, if your investment meets our criteria, our Group CEO and CFO will review and sign off on the investment and we’ll get heads of terms and shareholder agreements drawn up. As an equity stakeholder in your new business, it’s important we get this all agreed up front.

Our investment criteria is fairly simple; we’re looking for the following:


  1. A realistic budget.
  2. Demonstrable knowledge in your location(s) and sector(s).
  3. Proven sales growth and track record.
  4. A structured plan for your new business.
  5. A vision for how you want to develop your business.

We expect you to have at least 3-5 years’ experience in your chosen sector. We need to have confidence that you understand your market and have a well-developed network of clients and candidates.

We offer one of the best all-round investment and support packages available for recruiters and recruitment businesses. From providing all of the upfront funding, guaranteeing salaries, providing office premises, full provision of IT equipment and services, and all the support services you need, including IT, legal, HR, Finance, etc.

We’re focusing on recruitment businesses within the UK right now and already have established recruitment hubs in Birmingham, Chester, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester – with other offices around the country. 


As long as you’re based in the UK, you can trade wherever, and we can support you.

We invest in businesses that we believe can be successful. That means a business that can scale and grow at pace, that is typically break-even in year one of our investment, and ready to exit in year three, or preferably join our core recruitment business portfolio for further growth, increased value, and wealth creation. 

Speak to me about your investment

Matt Cody

Investment Division CEO

“We have a proven approach to investing in the recruitment sector, scaling businesses rapidly, and creating value. Let's talk."

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