In our last post we discussed the challenges that come with change in your market and business, focusing primarily on growth. In this post we will focus on the less pleasant but just as challenging circumstance where your business has hit a slump and you’re in recovery mode.
This could happen for any number of reasons, many that can be somewhat out of your control, such as new competitors flooding the market, a lack of the right candidates, or an overall decline in your client’s business. But the way you react to this adversity can determine the fate of your business.
First of all, don’t panic.
Those of you who have been in the staffing industry know that sales cycles are part of the business; there will be down times and there will be surges. If you’re in a fallow period, it can seem like it can drag on forever, but nevertheless there are some immediate steps that you can take.
- For example, you might offer long-time clients a one-time special offer on services. You can do this inexpensively via email or telephone, or a simple postcard.
- You might also temporarily increase your advertising in media where it is likely to be seen right away, for instance, Website ads or newspaper ads.
- You can also ask trusted clients for client referrals. This would have to be a client that you have a true partnership with.
- Also, during these downtimes, a flexible funding arrangement can be crucial. You’ll be able to keep payroll going and execute some of the options mentioned above. It’s also a huge relief to know that the money will be there when and if you need it. At Madison, we offer funding with back office and other outsourcing services, or simply funding. With either option, you have a partner who will scale with you, in good times and bad, and as Madison started as an offshoot of a staffing firm we understand the cycles that come with the industry more than most.
During a downtime, believe it or not, there are opportunities to plan for future growth.
You can streamline your front and back-office systems, which will help you ramp up efficiently when things turn around (Madison offers these services as well).
There are other ways to prepare for lulls in the market or potential downturns. While no one has a crystal ball, Madison’s Business Intelligence feature allows you to plan ahead, and analyze your business. You can keep track of sales gross profit, and compare your business success on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. All information is broken down into three separate sections: income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow for ease of use. Knowledge keeps you one-step ahead in your business and can help you ramp up, or scale back, accordingly.