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Last year was a big one for staffing firms, and all signs point to more growth for contract staffing in 2014. Political squabbles and slow economic growth in 2013 lead to a record-breaking year for contract staffing as employers increasingly turned to contractors.
As more companies view contract staffing as a long-term business strategy, we are seeing a new blended workforce model emerge.  This model typically features a core of direct hires, who are the company’s key personnel, supported by a larger outer ring of contractors that can be easily increased or decreased based on the company’s needs and economic conditions.
Born out of the recession, this model is being perpetuated by continued uncertainty in Washington and increasing employment regulations, particularly the upcoming employer mandate of the healthcare reform law known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare.
Debbie Fledderjohann is president of Top Echelon Contracting Inc., the recruiter’s back-office solution. The opinions expressed by guest authors do not necessarily reflect the positions of Staffing Industry Analysts. Click here to subscribe and let’s get that over with before we go into the first installment of this exciting entrepreneurial series. Fortunately for you, this unusual article is about the things you can do when business is slow.
Both are necessary forms of feedback and any serious minded entrepreneur should focus on making the most of both periods whether highs or lows rather than choosing one over the other. As humans, it is only natural to think in dichotomies; positive and negative, good and bad, black and white, high and low, hot and cold, pain and pleasure and all others. After all, we are creatures of feelings, and the unpleasant ones tend to drive home the point faster than the pleasant ones. Somehow, entrepreneurs don’t seem to have any problem dealing with high sales periods; after all, we don’t ever get tired of having more.
I have decided to write this because one of the businesses I run has gone through this phase and I am a better entrepreneur as a result.
When things don’t seem to be working out well in terms of revenue for your business, it is an indicator that something, somewhere, somehow is wrong. What I have seen most entrepreneurs do when they are experiencing low sales is to lash out frantically looking for a ‘quick fix’ solution to the problem of low sales.
In other cases, they simply respond by doing nothing believing that “this little affliction is but for a moment.” I refer to this kind of response as inaction. Whether you responded wrongly or you didn’t respond at all, both are inappropriate responses to the problem of low sales. As I have mentioned earlier; whether high or low sales period, both are reliable forms of feedback for any business. They are set of activities, behaviours, policies, strategies, and all other changes that occur within the walls of a business. Internal factors are classified either as strengths [positive organizational changes] or weaknesses [negative organizational changes]. For instance, if the employees of a business are performing at their very best, making sure every customer’s expectation is being exceeded every time they come in contact with the business, this can tremendously boost the sales of the business as it generates positive word of mouth for the business that eventually increases sales.
In the other hand, if the management initiates a drastic policy or strategy that will affect the performance of the employees negatively, this will in turn affect the level of satisfaction customers will get from the business. Implying that, whatever changes occuring internally within the walls of a business, can potentially increase or decrease sales depending on its overall impact on the employees and eventually customers. Never underestimate either of these two sales periods; they are great learning periods for entrepreneurs and the businesses they run. They are the set of activities, consumer behaviours, policies, strategies, and all other changes that occur outside the walls of a business.
External factors are classified either as opportunities [positive environmental changes] or threats [negative environmental changes]. For instance, imagine what happened to the typewriter businesses when the computer was invented? In fact, the advent of computer didn’t just alter the sales of businesses, it completely annihilated those businesses. Such is the power and effect of external factors on businesses; they are very uncontrollable in most cases. In every high or low sales periods, at the very least, one of these two factors must definitely be at play. Do you think diagnosing is essential for uncovering the reasons behind the low sales period?
Share your thoughts in the comment box below, in the next article under this series, I will be sharing some of the key steps to take in diagnosing low sales period in your business. And if you haven’t subscribed yet, here is your chance to subscribe again, fill the form below.
This is a very well thought out comment Chris, thank you so very much for stopping by here and blessing this community with such insight. The way you put it shows you have been through it and that is what really resonated with me, you will notice that this is just the first installment in the series and much later on I will be covering some of the other alternative actions you suggested. I will like to say that many are on my list too, especially the slowing down part and committing to internal growth and development is one vital action in slow times as this.
Thank you for sharing your own side of the story with us, it made the issue of low sales not only real but also one we can ultimately cure if only we sit down to diagnose and address the root cause and not the symptoms. A great example is Microsoft, every two years, they come up with a new version of their previous soft wares. Thanks for your brilliant additions to the conversations in the community, I am so grateful. Diagnosing our situation before taking any action is a crucial step to achieving business or personal success.
This is perhaps why as small business owners we need to hire the services of others to help us keep all of these check ups in place as we may be too focused on creating and marketing that we forget to control our operations efficiently. I absolutely agree most of the comments above, it is true that being an entrepreneur is not that too easy as everybody thinks because as a matter of fact there is no such things in this world that are made to be easy. 2) Lead time and availability on products to meet customer’s deadlines with flexibility.
3) Lack of cultural understanding and diversity within an organization involving business dealings — Customers in certain parts of geographic areas will have mixed negative feelings if we fail to meet their cultural requirements. 7) Are we accessible and easy to get in touch with when our products and services are needed? Business growth is what any small company is looking for, but what’s the best way to achieve it? A recent survey conducted by the EEF, the UK manufacturers trade body, showed that more than half of businesses interviewed saw red tape as a barrier to business growth.
I could keep going on and on with a list of things you should do, but you’ve probably heard them all already. Trust me, this is not another marketing buzzword but the most powerful secret of the very best companies. When all other companies are struggling with growing their company by 30% monthly by investing more into marketing, you can keep reducing your budget and still get better results with a 10% growth. Your customers become your best advocate; by investing more into satisfying them and creating a better experience for them, they will start telling their friends about you. Each customer spends significantly more with your business: a recent Helpscout infographic has revealed that loyal customers are worth 10 times as much as their first purchase. One thing is clear though, no marketing tactic is as powerful as having the right customers that trust and are really loyal to you. The foremost presentation sharing website online, Slideshare, gets over 60 million unique visitors and over 3 billion slide views every single month. Piktochart makes it extremely easy for you to create appealing infographics; there are over 100 templates you could choose from and customize to create your own infographics. When you keep investing more in marketing every day, have you ever thought about the fact that a single blunder that you thought no one will pay attention to can bring your whole company down?
Very few people recommend effectively managing your reputation when you do business online, but it’s important to realize that the barrier to entry to use the internet is literally non-existent. Monitor your brand mentions on social media. This can also be done for free by creating Social Mention alerts for free.
Dedicate a team to reputation management and social media or hire a reputation management agency to help you manage your company reputation.


The best way to manage your reputation is by preventing issues from happening, so don’t be careless when it comes to your brand. The little things matter and you could save hours of your time and days of your sanity by automating them. Paying your bills in advance. This includes payment for your hosting, newsletter, SEO tools etc. There are a lot more things you could automate but, hopefully, you realize how powerful automating little things can be. Data has revealed that a one second delay in your site speed could cost you 7 percent in conversions; the slower your site is, it also eventually creates a negative experience for your visitors and as a result sends them away. The faster your site can be, the better; not only does it have SEO benefits, but it also ensures a better experience for your visitors and helps you make more money. If you have any other suggestions to grow your business please let me know in the comments below.
An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator. Daniel Matthews is a freelance writer from Boise, Idaho specializing in social media and tech. Tweak Your Biz is a business community - a place where business professionals like you can stand out. In our experience, there are essentially two types of businesses that reach a plateau in growth. Like most things worth pursuing in life, running a successful business is a marathon pursuit.
In this post, we’re going to focus on examining what growth looks like, identifying pillars that we should be strengthening to support the growth of our organizations.
Clayton Christensen, selected recently as the top management thinker in the world by Thinkers50, highlights how disruptive innovation vastly changes markets and fuels significant growth for those who choose to disrupt. While rapid growth seems sexy and magical, it’s sustainable growth that leads to long term success and perhaps is the better of the two. While investigating how and why organizations grow, it’s also important to look at the primary reasons why companies stop growing.
Blending these findings together, we can begin to create a mental image of core pillars of an organization that is capable of dynamic growth.
Not only to great people provide a positive force multiplier, but not having the right people on the bus is a key contributor to impeded growth. Firms that have, and continually cultivate an entrepreneurial environment perform better over the long run. His thoughts have been featured in Forbes, Inc, CRM magazine and a host of other publications. In addition, he often serves as an expert advisor for technology vendors and their customers, providing thought leadership content, and market and product strategy guidance. Brian has traveled to more than 40 countries, is a real estate investor, and was an award winning NCAA Division 1 football scholarship athlete.
Sign-up using the form or call us at 915-351-1886 to take advantage of this exclusive offer. In June, contract staffing reached its highest point since 2006 with 2.7 million active contractors.
For instance, while traditional Healthcare is always strong, we are now noticing crossovers into Information Technology and Engineering for Biomedical and Health IT placements. Even as unemployment numbers are edging downward and economic predictions are positive overall, employers are practicing a cautious optimism in which they are still hesitant to commit to direct hires.  A recent CareerBuilder survey indicated that 42 percent of companies would hire contractors in 2014, while only 24 percent said the same about direct hiring. Employers with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees will be required to provide healthcare insurance to their full-time employees.  Contracting allows them to bring in additional help without exceeding that 50-employee threshold because contractors are the W-2 employees of a staffing firm or contract staffing back-office. As long as that is true and employment regulations continue to increase, we can only expect more contract staffing growth. This is a fact of life and its better you get used to it and learn how to make the most of it. It will help you make the most of the low sales periods every business usually encounters every once in a while. Folding your arms doing nothing won’t make the problem go away, and taking the wrong actions would only end up complicating matters. First find out the cause of the problem [diagnose] before implementing any solution [prescribe].
They constitute the internal working environment of every business and are usually the making of either the management or the employees. These factors if they are the cause of a low or high sales period are in most cases controllable and can be adjusted to alter whatever sales period your business finds itself.
On the long run, a negative word of mouth is created and sales will eventually drop as a result. This is why I emphasized that high or low sales periods are very vital forms of feedback for every business.
They constitute the external working environment of every business and are usually the making of the government, society, economy, nature, technology, culture, competition and so on. These factors if they are the cause of a low or high sales period are in most cases uncontrollable and will be a lot harder to influence in your business’ favour.
This is a classical case of technology as one of the external factors at play in determining the low sales period every one of those typewriter businesses experienced during that era.
Most especially for the businesses that didn’t diagnose early to find out the cause of their low sales when computers started gaining prominence as a better alternative to typewriters.
Your task as an entrepreneur is to dig deep to uncover the factor or factors responsible for whatever sales period your business is experiencing. What we did was to increase our promo, like giving a certain percent of discount to customers who come in before noon and more discount to repeat customers also any customer who refers others to us gets a discount on his or her next purchase. I am impressed with the initiatives you have employed in dealing with this issue of low sales in your business.
Nothing can be truer than this, it pays to have a list of satisfied clients to sell more to during low sales periods.
It is quite common to be conservative when things are great, you will see no reason to attempt the unusual because why bother rocking the boat when things seem great? And after diagnosis and analysis, he may be able to remove the bad factors from his business.
Overlooking this monthly check ups is what eventually leads to bigger problems like that of low sales. When it comes to business expect highs and lows of income because not all the time is friendly to you, it matters on how you overcome certain difficulties that you have experience. Business indeed is full of ups and downs and as entrepreneurs we must learn to make the most out of both times. When you have business expect high and lows of income because there are a lot of businesses exists. This can be net term credit lines depending on the customer’s trustworthiness and risks, Is our RMA and purchasing policy too strict? One of the most important things is funding or adequate finance to allow them to realise their goals.
The irony of this is that your growth rate keeps increasing as you keep reducing your marketing budget, to the point where you no longer have to spend on marketing any more. The same infographic revealed that 86% of consumers quit doing business with a company due to bad customer experience.
They keep spending with you and recommending their friends and your business keeps growing without you having to do anything than to invest in customer experience.
They are just that big; however, very few people are aware of the fact that they could have their slides hosted on Slideshare and capitalize on the exposure they get. Of course, you’ve heard a lot about infographics before and how powerful they are for marketing, but how powerful can an infographic really be?
99% of the reputation disasters your company can encounter can be prevented – when your hands are clean, it would be difficult for anyone to damage your brand. When a customer is pissed and you don’t address issues quickly, things can easily get out of control.


This way, if there’s a major issue about your company, you can resolve it before things go out of hand by making an announcement on your blog and social media profiles. This way, you know as soon as something is written about your brand and can step in immediately.
Especially if they are on a payroll, you can save yourself a lot of time by automating payment. I agree, Thinking about the possibility would tell you that exponential sales growth of a business is not simply a mere dream but can turn into reality.
I would also add that you need to have well thought out growth strategy in addition to all the tactics you have mentioned here.
And yes, knowledge of choosing right PC for work is really important and that is way i share some of the important tips to readers. Read the specialists, share your opinions and sign up to become recognized for sharing your expertise by writing on this site! Want to chat about consulting, speaking, writing, partnering, employment, technology briefings, advisory or board opportunities? According to a recent survey, 59% of small business owners believe that it’s actually harder to do business today than it was 5 years ago.
According the the 2011 SHIFT index, competitive intensity has doubled during the last 40 years and the rate at which (big) companies lost their leadership positions has more than doubled.
Entrepreneurs are driven by making things better, creating new value, and doing what other people can’t, or won’t. A prime example is how the multi-million dollar mainframe, has progressed from an era where only a few large governments, mega corporations, and huge universities had access to them. Your preference as a business owner is akin to whether you’re more interested in being the tortoise or the hare. Goodnight is still involved also highlights another factor that has led to increased returns and favor from investors over the years. Premium Position Captivity – Interestingly enough, this is the inverse of what we found in the first section, highlighting the opportunity around disruption.
Innovation Management Breakdown – This is when there is a breakdown in the processes of developing new products and services, and getting them out to market.
Creating a place where employees are engaged with their work and people around them is a rare skill. The opportunity to disrupt markets provide significant growth opportunities until the firm is so successful that they themselves are vulnerable to market disruptions. He is an accomplished business leader, management consultant, keynote speaker, and an award winning syndicated blogger. He is a regular contributor to several additional media properties including Social Media Today, Social Enterprise Today, CustomerThink, the CIO Collaboration Network, and multiple Ziff Davis outlets. Clients include IBM, SAS Institute, Microsoft Corporation, NICE Systems, Eloqua, Avaya, Marketo, SugarCRM, InsideView, and several startups.
People are important, no doubt, but if you do not have the culture then they will leave you again soon enough. Therefore, they do not count toward a company’s 50-employee threshold, and the staffing firm or back-office is responsible for ACA compliance.
There will be high sales periods as well as low sales periods, both periods are necessary for maintaining balance in business.
Those things we refer to as unpleasant are actually the ones that make us better human beings.
It is very important to know that some low sales periods are self inflicted and others are not.
Meaning, take the pain to find out what is responsible for the low sales you are currently experiencing in your business. We also call our customers more often now and also share such unique ideas like what you are sharing here to our selling customers because some of them do not have access to such informations and the more sales they make the more they will purchase from us. Very creative indeed and to hear that the outcomes were encouraging goes a long way to show that choosing to do the unusual has loads and loads of results if only more entrepreneurs will begin to think in this unusual way.
When I first started my healthcare marketing firm, I was so caught up in doing client work that I would go fairly long periods of time without marketing my business, which would force me to go fish for new clients. They don’t take the conservative approach but go all out to shake up things long before even when they needed to be shaken up. The kind of actions that do, are the ones we take only after we have carefully examined the root cause of the problem we are trying to solve. It is not sufficient to choose one and ignore the other, there must be a way to draw out some insight from either conditions we face in our businesses. One is not better without the other, they help to create balance and a healthy growth for both the business and the entrepreneur.
Do we have leverage to work with customers that either asks us to do push ins or pull outs on open orders? In order to grow most efficiently, there needs to be a proper structure in place to strengthen delegation and the processes of running the business.
In particular, invoice finance can be a flexible and accessible lending option for any business who issues invoices to customers on a 30, 60 or 90 day basis. No one is insignificant and the seemingly small customer you’re ignoring could have the power to cause some real damage. For example, ask yourself how much it’ll cost you if your site goes down for a whole day because you forgot to pay your hosting bill. Despite of large growth over the market, business companies are still seeking the expertise of various experts to completely attian success. Product and service development, marketing and sales, operations, and finding and keeping the right people all bring varied complexities in a constantly evolving context.
Mainframes were disrupted by the PC manufacturers, which were disrupted by the laptop, then the tablet, then the smart phone, which has essentially made computing power accessible to almost everyone. Look around at many of the high growth organizations around you, and chances are they are providing access of something useful to larger sets of people for a much lower cost. While high growth organizations are often disrupting, those that are being disrupted are often tied to their premium position, selling high profit products to high value customers while someone else is democratizing access to the utility of those products. While there is danger in sticking with the same customers in the same market for too long, there’s also risk in abandoning them too early by assuming that the market is saturated. As the pace of change increases, finding people who are talented and can adapt to change with a strong work ethic, high integrity, and the ability to learn and solve new problems creatively is the key.
We also bring in new products to spice the old ones, thereby giving our customers more options to pick from, with these and more of in-house training of our staff with prayers we are able to still say there is a lifting up. Once I stopped underestimating the importance of consistently marketing the problem diminished significantly. While I may have been conservative when the business was booming – I was open minded as ever when sales were down.
But as experience has taught over and over again, when it is not broken is the best time to start looking for ways to break it.
As a result, they remain at the top of their game and rarely find themselves in low sales periods except when the source is from the external forces.
Factoring and invoice discounting let businesses unlock the capital tied up in unpaid customer debts, letting you get access to funds within 24 hours, without taking on any new debt. Depending on how much revenue your company makes, it’ll probably be a lot more than you will have to spend paying for a whole year of hosting.
Risk of significant financial error tends to be high.- Internal systems are relatively strong, but sales are insufficient to support long-term objectives.
How can you manage the change effectively, to ensure everyone buys into the new way of doing business? After careful study of the market and your available resources you can make a sold plan for growth for number of years in the future.
Hancock + Associates can not only help identify the necessary changes, but we can take the lead to implement them successfully and grow your business to the next level.



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