Even as other businesses struggle, a staffing firm can thrive. After all, companies will always need to hire new people, and people will always be looking for jobs.
While you may experience slow periods, starting a staffing firm is an excellent option if you want a consistent flow of work. But before you start marketing yourself, you need to know how to start a staffing firm.
Starting a staffing firm requires some steps that are not that different from starting any business. Luckily, you don’t need a huge investment to start your staffing firm.
Depending on who you plan to work with, you can start your firm from home. As your business grows, you can invest in an office space to meet clients in person.
Before you start growing your staffing firm, you need to nail down the basics. Consider these steps to start your staffing firm on the right foot.
Choose an Industry
If you want clients to trust your staffing firm, consider focusing on a specific industry. You and your team can learn about the industry you choose, be it hospitality or healthcare. Selecting an industry to specialize in can help you find clients on both the employer side and worker side.
You can also specialize in staffing a certain type of job, like temp jobs. Or you can focus on finding workers to fill permanent positions. Whether you choose a type of job or industry, you can target your marketing efforts more effectively.
Instead of trying to cater to every employer and worker, you can work with a particular group of them. Then, you can help employers find the right employee, and you can help workers find the right job.
Determine What Makes Your Firm Unique
Even if you specialize in staffing permanent healthcare jobs, you need to figure out what makes your firm unique. While choosing a focus can help you stand out from other staffing firms, you can still expect some competition.
So consider what makes you different in other ways. Maybe you know how to screen workers to find candidates who will stick around. Or perhaps you know how to fill a job more quickly than the average staffing firm. Maybe you price your staffing services in a unique way.
Once you determine how your firm is different from the competition, you can include that in your marketing materials. You can use that unique characteristic to speak to your ideal client.
Invest in the Right Tools
Before you start taking on clients, invest in a few tools to run your business efficiently. You’ll need a computer with internet access as well as an email account to communicate with clients. A phone line can also help you talk to clients.
If you plan to meet with clients in person, you should find an office space so that you have a dedicated meeting place. You can also conduct meetings via video conferencing programs or over the phone.
Consider investing in a program to track the results that you get for both employers and workers. As your business grows, you can use data to convince people to work with you instead of another staffing firm.
Setting Up Financials
Luckily, starting a staffing firm doesn’t have to be expensive, but you should still familiarize yourself with the costs. The more you know about how your business is doing financially, the better you’ll be able to plan for the future.
Keep track of how much cash your business has so that you know what you can spend money on to grow your business. If you find that you don’t have enough money, you may need to find investors to pay for essential business costs.
Figure Out the Costs
When you start your staffing firm, you will probably have a lot of costs. You’ll have to find and pay for a space to work, and you may need to hire people to help you. But before you settle on an office or a team, determine how much you will have to spend on them.
Check out a couple of office locations in your area, and look for the best one. Consider the cost of leasing the office, but also think about how convenient the office is for your clients. If you staff medical jobs, but your office isn’t near a hospital, you may have trouble getting people to visit you.
And unless you want to do everything yourself, you should hire a couple of people. You can hire someone to help with staffing, but you may want to hire people for marketing and other administrative tasks. Before hiring, you need to figure out how much that will cost your business.
Get Financial Help
If you find that you need a larger office or more employees than you can afford, you may need a loan. You can get a small business loan from your local bank, and you can use the loan to fund the beginning stages of your business. As you make money, you can pay down the loan. Often times, a traditional loan isn’t an option for new businesses. Payroll funding is another great option that allows staffing companies to solve the cash flow problem. Read our guide on small business loans vs. payroll funding to learn more about some of the differences between the two options.
Investors can help you fund your business at the start, but they’ll probably want to see a track record before giving you a ton of money. So, for now, try to find loans or small business grants to get the money that you need.
Once you start to see your business grow, you can approach an investor who can help you even more. Then, you can continue to grow and scale your business without worrying as much about finances.
Set Up an Accounting Process
Whether you decide to hire an accountant or do it yourself, you need to set up an accounting process. Decide on what tools or software you will use to track income and expenses.
If you plan to hire an accountant, you can ask them to set up the process for you. However, if you will be managing the books, you need to understand the program or method you choose.
As a staffing firm, you’ll need to get employers and workers as clients, which can be tricky. But that’s why it’s so important to figure out a niche and what makes you different. Eventually, you want clients to come to you when they need help with staffing.
Consider a few things you can do to get clients both now and in the future.
Know Who Your Client Is
Successful brands, like Apple, have a specific customer in mind. For them, their ideal customer is stylish and wants to stay ahead of the curve. Without that ideal customer in mind, they probably wouldn’t be as successful as they are.
Knowing your ideal client is especially important when starting and growing your staffing firm. In terms of employers, think of how big the company is, what position they need to fill and what industry they’re in. On the worker side, think about the experience they have, what kind of job they’re looking for and how much they want to get paid.
The more details you can nail down about your ideal client, the easier it will be for you to target that person or company. You’ll be able to figure out what problems they’re having so that you can solve them.
Use Your Network
Whether you’re first starting a staffing firm or are looking to grow it, your network is a valuable tool. You can work with your friends, former coworkers and other professional connections to find clients. Perhaps you know a friend who is looking for a job, so you can tell them about your staffing firm.
If you know a local business owner who is struggling to find employees, you can tell them about your services. While not everyone will take you up on your offer, some people might. And the ones who don’t work with you may end up giving your name and info to someone who does need what you offer.
Use Social Media
Another excellent way to get clients for your staffing firm is to use social media. You can use networks like LinkedIn and Facebook to connect with businesses and workers. Consider setting up a business page so that you can share links to your staffing firm website.
You can share examples of job placements you can do, and you can answer questions from potential clients. While social media probably won’t provide instant results, it can be a great way to expand your reach. Then, you can use it to get new clients without you having to do much.
Continue to Grow
Starting a staffing firm is similar to starting any service business, but there are some unique challenges. For one, you have to figure out how to attract employers and workers, and they have very different needs.
But if you specialize in staffing a particular type of job or industry, you can attract the people who need your help. An employer can then come back when they have a new position to fill, and a worker can come back when their contract ends. The more you stick with it, the more you can expect your staffing firm to grow.
Be sure to read our other resources on starting your own staffing agency: