Incipio Workforce Solutions is a contract recruiting and human resources solutions company for small to mid-size businesses.
Incipio may be new, but collectively the team has over 60 years of experience in contract consulting in the human resource business, working nationally with some of the biggest names in the industry, as well as a host of smaller companies throughout the U.S.
The owner of Incipio, Molley Ricketts, came to SmartBiz Loans for low-cost funds to help drive growth. Here’s how she’s running a busy business and is striving to maintain a happy work/life balance.
Incipio, Latin for “new beginning”, was founded in 2015 after Molley honed her recruiting skills as an in-house employee and later as a contractor.
The business sort of started itself with referrals from managers I had worked with in the past,” she says.
At first, she supplemented her income with a full-time job at a small family owned business.
“That experience was valuable. I learned the ins and outs of working with a small business, how to pull the purse strings and make the most out of networking.”
As the owner of a recruiting firm, Molley faces a unique challenge.
“The biggest roadblock I’ve faced in my industry is that recruiting is seen by many as the easiest thing to do,” she says. “I like to ask, ‘Where do you take your car to get it worked on?’ Most people go to a professional mechanic. You can Google how to change oil and sparkplugs but it’s best to take it to the experts.”
Molley and her team are definitely recruiting experts.
“We provide our clients with nothing but the best, personalized service, operating like staff, without the overhead concerns of a traditional HR operation,” she says. “We get to know our client’s business, offering recruiting services, as well as a wide variety of human resource consulting services around change management, process improvement, leadership coaching, and talent management.”
With two children herself, Molley set up Incipio to be very parent-friendly. “It’s an organization that empowers people to set their own schedules,” she says. “We currently have 10 recruiters at 4 different levels on annual agreements. Each has their own area of expertise.”
Molley has a dedicated home office for business meetings. “It can get busy – we can have 1 person or up to 10 people here depending on the day.”
To help sign on new clients, Molley has qualified for the Minority and Women Business Enterprise Certification Program through the Small Business Administration.
“We’re able to respond to RFPs (Request for Proposals) from across the U.S. For example, Toyota has to have a certain amount of partnerships with minority-owned businesses because of their government contracts,” she says. “We have two clients in Kentucky where we’re located but we’re not landlocked and have business throughout the U.S.”
When asked about operating a business as a woman, she has advice for others.
“There are stigmas you can face as a woman business owner. But there’s power in finding other women-owned businesses to partner with. Finding strategic alliances with entrepreneurial women can be a huge advantage,” she says. “More importantly, it’s important for women not to lose faith. Have a business plan and stick to your goals.”
Molley’s business plan helped her determine how much money she needed to expand and when she needed it.
“I knew strategically how to get to where we needed and I knew how much it would cost because of my plan,” she says. “It’s easy to lose track of an annual plan so I set quarterly goals with monthly objectives to keep on track. I meet with a couple of key players weekly so it’s not such a surprise if something comes up.”
At first, Molley self-funded Incipio. “I took every dollar in savings and out of my 401k to take the leap,” she says.
“As we grew, I needed funds to stay afloat so I got an outrageous loan with a stupid, stupid interest rate. I learned a lesson there. Once I was profitable, I knew lenders would take me seriously, so I started looked for other funding options.”
Molley determined that a low-cost SBA loan would be the right fit for her business. She worked closely with SmartBiz Relationship Manager Kalvin Chiu and reports that the experience went smoothly.
Kalvin says, “Molley is an intelligent woman. She understood that in order for her business to grow, she needed the right type of financing that wouldn't hinder her business cash flow. The SBA loan served that purpose and she was great to work with throughout the process.”
“This loan is a game changer,” Molley reports. “The funding facilitated by SmartBiz is going to be huge. I can go back to focusing on growing. We’re planning to hire 4 new employees, all because of the SBA loan.”
Molley is also going to revamp the Incipio website and launch a strategically targeted marketing campaign.
“I want to make a big presence and host sponsorships for conferences, shows and networking organizations. We have competition from the temp staffing model. I want to share our message and help business owners understand that they end up paying 3 – 4x more with a temp agency than they would with Incipio.”
Molley reports that the best part about business ownership has been proving to herself that she could actually do it.
“Every day is a different challenge,” she says. “It’s kind of like riding a rollercoaster. It’s a lot of fun, scary as hell and sometimes your stomach falls to your feet. Everything can change tomorrow but I’ve never been happier. Even though I’m running a business, I’ve stayed committed to friends and families. It’s very rewarding.”