Whilst we will want to have as much control over how our desk evolves, it is worth recognising that there are certain factors that will dictate how our desk ends up on the efficient to effective scale that we have little control over, for example:

Your market – If your market is made up of mainly small companies then it will make it harder for you to develop large accounts. On a similar line, if you place a very narrow group of candidates, then it will be more difficult to develop really big accounts. In both these cases, the capacity for any one client to hire a large number of people from you is just not there. Conversely, if your market is very niche or the positions you deliver on are limited to a small number of specialist companies, then it will be tough to develop a large number of small accounts – they just don’t exist.

You – We are all different (think of the ‘hunter’ vs the ‘farmer’) and that will determine whether you are more comfortable developing large accounts over time (farmer) or going out and winning lots of spot business (hunter). Try to play to your strengths.

Your company – There may be bigger issues at play that you should be conscious of. Listen to what you company and boss are looking to achieve. This may require that you sometimes work in a manner that contradicts the model. For example you work an account which is only ever going to be small t you, but it is very large and important to your company and colleagues.

Your desk maturity – You may want to ultimately develop a desk with a small number of large accounts, but short term you will have to look at things a bit differently. In most cases, you will need to start by generating a larger number of small accounts. This has the dual benefit of bringing in some money quickly along with providing you with a choice of clients that you can then select from to develop into larger ones.