The temporary staffing industry has enjoyed steady growth through the economic downturn and subsequent recovery. With so much ongoing demand for temporary personnel, a prepared staffing company has the potential for immediate success and rapid growth of its own.
You may be sitting at your desk, looking over rising numbers and feeling good about your own staffing company, and the thought crosses your mind: Maybe it’s time to expand.
Growth usually indicates success, but premature or poorly planned growth can actually hinder your progress toward your business goals. So before you run out and rent more office space, ask yourself these important questions:
What do I hope to gain by growing?
Decide how growth fits into your personal and business goals. Do you want more money, a better reputation, or the comfort of a large client base?
How would I expand my staffing company?
Just as you sat down to make a business plan when you opened your staffing company, you should sit down and plot your growth course. Will you expand your current office, or open a second location? How much do you want to grow, and how quickly?
Also, you must decide whether growth to you means attracting more clients in your niche or expanding to include other specialties. Both of these options will require different resources and a different approach.
What kind of resources will I need to grow successfully?
Once you have a basic idea of what your growth plan will look like, you need to determine what you need to get there. If you want to recruit more personnel you will need to invest more heavily in recruitment and human resources, which also means you will eventually need more back office staff to avoid burning out. More office staff will require more office space and greater overhead, and so the list continues.
Be realistic about your needs and limitations, and err on the side of overestimating the cost of expansion. It is better to have leftover resources to reinvest in a successfully growing company than to find yourself in the middle of expansion with nothing left to continue.
Do I have/can I access those resources?
This is a direct corollary to the second question. If you are strongly considering growing your company then you need to know where not only what you need, but where to find it. Ideally, you have planned for eventual growth and have the contacts and extra capital to move ahead with your plans. If you haven’t, however, you will need to do the research to learn how you can obtain the resources you need.
Should I stay in my niche or expand outward?
Growth for the sake of growth is a fast path to added burden without the added rewards. If you plan to staff more professionals in your industry, make sure there is a need for the additional staff. Continue to keep tabs on labor statistics, job listings in the field, and industry trends so you can anticipate future needs.
If there is little demand in your niche, or if you want the challenge of diversifying, identify a new niche to enter. The closer your new field is to your original field, the likelier it is that you will have the needed expertise and access to qualified talent to quickly attract clients. If you are moving completely out of your comfort zone, however, you should seek advice from an experienced professional in the industry so you are fully informed before seeking staffing placements.
Can I provide the same level of service if my company grows?
What sets you apart from your competition?
Are you more responsive to client needs? Do you hire more qualified or more specialized employees? Do you provide ongoing training to promote employee growth?
Whatever your competitive advantage is, you must figure out whether growing your company will affect your ability to maintain it. While you may initially attract more clients, if you cannot perform at the level to which your clients have been accustomed, you could threaten your existing placements as well as your chances of gaining new ones.
What will happen if I don’t grow?
Consider the possibility, counter-intuitive though it may be, of not growing at the moment.
Not growing may:
- Limit your earning power
- Limit your client base, giving each client more control over your continued success
- Leave you with more of the heavy lifting
It may also:
- Give you the chance to build capital so you can grow more effectively in the future
- Save you the time and money associated with larger recruitment efforts
- Allow you to become more of an expert in your niche, increasing your competitive advantage
Growth, with all of its possibilities, is an alluring prospect. If you approach the idea with a plan and a purpose, you can make the decision that will best benefit your company in the long run.
Factor Finders provides funding support to temporary staffing agencies in a variety of industries. Learn more about our factoring programs for staffing companies.