Founders: Matthew Sampson, 26 Adam Brown, 35
Head Office: Victoria
Industry: Property and business services
Matthew Sampson was just 22 years old when he started recruitment business Aspect Personnel, fuelled by a good idea and what he says was a certain unjustified confidence. The complexities of running a business soon took some of the wind out of his sails.
“While I believed I had a good technical grounding in recruitment (which in retrospect, I didn’t), I was certainly not prepared for the complexities of running a company. Despite studying commerce at University and spending a lot of time conducting research, I significantly underestimated the legal, logistical, financial and emotional intricacies of running a business.”
“I also found that my age (and associated physical image) sometimes challenged my ability to instil confidence in my business’s stakeholders. Whether it be banks, investors, potential clients or potential staff, there was often an immediate concern amongst them about my age and associated maturity and level of experience.”
His tender age may have been a hurdle, but it was nothing Sampson couldn’t get over. Five years after its establishment, Aspect posted average annual revenue growth of 48.19% in the past three financial years, with turnover hitting $6.3 million in 2011-12.
The company, which focuses on the niches of engineering, town planning, architecture and government, now has 14 employees and is expanding into the construction, planning and office support niches.
Sampson says the market remains unpredictable but he is determined to remain open with staff, citing it as a key way to motivate his team.
“We recently ran our annual conference and there were two presentations that consistently rated highly within the group. The first was a discussion about where the company had come from, an overview of its origins and how it has grown since its inception (with a detailed focus on the last 12 months).”