5 Ways Staffing Agencies Can Cash In On Seasonal Holiday Hiring

5 Ways Staffing Agencies Can Cash In On Seasonal Holiday Hiring

The coming holiday season promises another increase in consumer spending, and staffing and recruiting agencies can benefit as well as retailers. Here are five ways recruiters, staffing and temp employment agencies can get a piece of the holiday hiring pie.

‘Tis the Season for Holiday Hiring

Retailers, distributors and shipping companies are about to beef up staff, big time, in anticipation of another banner year for holiday ecommerce sales and many of them are going to turn to staffing and temporary employment agencies to get the job done. Amazon, Target and UPS will be hiring hundreds of thousands of seasonal workers this year.

And job seekers are interested, too. RetailDive reported “according to a recent Indeed holiday hiring survey, holiday job searches per million job seekers rose 11% in August from the year-ago period.” While some companies will create their own hiring systems, others will turn to temporary employment, staffing and recruiting agencies for help filling seasonal jobs.

5 Ways to Help Your Staffing Agency Grow by Satisfying Holiday Hiring Demand

1. Build a large pool of potential seasonal workers ahead of time.

Any of your current and past contacts could be looking to make a change or willing to take on a second job during the holidays, even if they are not technically looking for a new job. Reach out to your contacts now and ask for referrals as well.

Set up an online form just for people interested in seasonal work with a short application and create an expedited version of your normal recruiting and hiring process so that when opportunity knocks, you have a long list of potential seasonal workers who are ready to hit the shop floor – or warehouse floor – running.

2. Use invoice factoring to finance expanded recruiting and hiring activities.

Having a list of candidates who have already been vetted could give your agency a competitive advantage during the holidays that extends into repeat business next year. Job ads, background checks, time spent interviewing candidates and checking references – it all takes time. You might even need to hire your own seasonal help just to handle the increased workload it will take to build a large pool of seasonal workers.

Invoice factoring speeds up cash flow and gives you access to working capital that is tied up in client invoices; this is working capital that you can then deploy to ramp up recruiting efforts and develop a pool of seasonal workers who are ready to go to work immediately. Even if you are already factoring, we would be happy to provide you with a quote for staffing invoice factoring to ensure that you have the best cash flow solution in place for your agency.

3. Keep quality standards high.

Yes, you want to have a pool of candidates large enough to quickly meet employer’s demands for temporary workers during the holidays, but that doesn’t mean low-quality seasonal workers should get through the door. Your value as a temporary employer, staffing agency or recruiter lies in saving your clients time and money after the worker hits the floor. Any time a client has to deal with a less-than-stellar placement, the cost of using your services goes up, and your value to the client goes down. Don’t skimp on quality of candidates even during the holiday seasonal hiring rush.

4. Point out the value of getting a foot in the door.

If your initial call for seasonal workers doesn’t produce the number of potential placements you envisioned or you are looking to get a few really stellar candidates to consider seasonal work, remind contacts that the road to getting their dream job at their dream company might start by getting their foot in the door as a seasonal holiday worker.

5. Send out a packet of potential seasonal worker resumes.

You’ve got a pool of seasonal holiday hires ready to place; now what? In addition to reaching out by phone and email to clients, put together a marketing packet that highlights the number and quality of candidates that you have who are ready to rock and roll, by speaking to candidates backgrounds and experience, and using testimonials from their references – think of it as a holiday staffing catalog and design it accordingly as collateral that you can use throughout the holidays online and off.

7 Ways to Speed Up Business Cash Flow

7 Ways to Speed Up Business Cash Flow

Waiting on customer payments? Leverage these ideas to speed up business cash flow so you can focus on growing your business, instead.

STUDY – 3 Out of 10 US Businesses Not Paid On Time

According to the 2018 Global Trade Credit Payments Study by Dun & Bradstreet, U.S. companies in many industries are not being paid on time. While nearly 7 in ten financial services invoices are paid by the due date, as few as 38 percent of manufacturing invoices are paid on time.

Average time businesses wait to get paid

The Financial Services industry wins again when it comes to the fewest number of invoices that go beyond 90 plus days late before getting paid. Retail Trade, Construction and Transportation and Distribution industries have the most invoices that remain unpaid three months past their due date.

Retail Trade, Construction and Transportation and Distribution industries have the most invoices that remain unpaid three months past their due date.

Whether your business falls into one of these categories or a different one, every business that invoices customers or waits on third party payments (like app developers and merchants selling on Amazon, Zulily, Poshmark and similar platforms) experiences some kind of opportunity cost while waiting to see these on-the-books receivables turn into working capital.

The Opportunity Cost of Slow Business Cash Flow

Yes, sitting around waiting on customers to pay accounts receivable invoices or for third parties to pay out your commissions and sales revenues does have a name: Opportunity cost. It’s the sum total of anything you couldn’t do because you had working capital owing on the books instead of in hand; such as:

  • Waiting to replenish inventories or supplies
  • Limiting marketing and advertising funds
  • Stressing your ability to meet payroll or expenses
  • Precluding you from getting quick-pay discounts from your suppliers or vendors
  • Preventing you from expanding, taking on bigger customers or new orders
  • Watching competitors take advantage of emerging opportunities while you wait on the sidelines

Working capital is opportunity! Let’s talk about some of the ways you can speed up business cash flow so that opportunity cost doesn’t slow your organization down or keep it from growing as quickly as it might have otherwise.

Speed Up Business Cash Flow with 7 Proven Tactics

1. Restrict Customer Payment Terms

So this might seem a bit obvious, but one way to get customers to pay faster is to reduce the number of days customers have to pay. This won’t work in every case and of course doesn’t apply if you wait on payments from platforms like Amazon, Zulily, Poshmark, mobile apps, etc., because the platforms have non-negotiable terms. It could also be perceived negatively in terms of competitive advantage, causing customers to turn to businesses that extend more generous payment terms instead.

2. Factor Receivables

We help speed up business cash flow every day, every time we forward an advance on an invoice factored by one of our clients.  It works like this:

An organization or entrepreneur that sells products or services on terms to customers (or via third party retail or e-commerce platforms) factors – or sells – that invoice to us for a small fee (called a factoring fee). Within 1-2 business days, that organization receives an advance on the invoice (or promised payment) of up to 93 percent.

The invoice can be factored as early as the same day the customer invoice is generated (or the third party platform statement is received), so instead of waiting weeks or months on payment, the organization can completely eliminate opportunity cost and stay focused on growth. This enables organizations and entrepreneurs to:

  • Better align expenses with corresponding revenues
  • Meet payroll and operating expenses more readily
  • Access working capital needed to capitalize on fast-emerging opportunities
  • Increase inventories or supplies to take on more orders or serve larger customers
  • Negotiate fast-pay discounts with suppliers to save money on operating expenses
  • Reinvest in the organization more quickly (operations, staffing, marketing, advertising etc.)

3. Provide More Payment Channels

Waiting on customers to send payments via U.S. Mail can add days or even more than a week onto your wait. By adding more payment channels including online pay capabilities you make it possible for customers to choose the payment method that is most convenient for them. In addition, emailing invoices to customers instead of mailing them by postal service may cut additional days off your wait time.

4. Communicate Frequently

Staying in touch with your customers keeps your business top-of-mind and can passively remind them that they should send payment to you. Nor does communication need to be about the customer’s invoice, although this may be a necessity with slow-paying customers. You can stay top-of-mind with customers by sending occasional email newsletters, updates, special offers or expert advice, thereby adding value to the relationship as well.

5. Think Lean

If you overstock inventories or supplies, then your money could be sitting on the shelf instead of at your disposal. Pay close attention to customer preferences, buying cycles, patterns and seasonal trends to see where you may be tying up working capital on slow-moving products or services.

6. Create a Formal Process

What kind of plan do you have in place to communicate with slow-paying customers? Creating a formal process – almost like an email drip campaign – can remind and encourage customers whose payments are late to bring their account up to date.

7. Extend Quick-Pay Incentives

Giving customers some type of incentive to pay you ahead of schedule may speed up your business cash flow. These incentives need not be quick-pay discounts, although that is a commonly used tactic. If you are going to extend discounts, be sure that to examine how they will affect your organization’s overall profitability. You may find that the fee for factoring invoices is far less than the amount of customer discount it would take to incentivize early payment.

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Overview of Common Business Financial Statements

Understanding Common Business Financial Statements

Improve your ability to understand and interpret the most common business financial statements needed to run your organization.

Financial Literacy is Essential for Running a Thriving Business

PreferredCFO.com cites several business finance challenges being at the heart of why young businesses failed, with financial literacy coming in on the top of the list:

  • 82% – Didn’t understand cash flow or had poor cash flow management skills
  • 79% – Didn’t have adequate working capital at the outset
  • 78% – Didn’t have an effective or well-developed business plan
  • 77% – Didn’t price products or services properly
  • 73% – Didn’t predict sales or costs accurately
  • 70% – Didn’t know what to do to succeed and failed to seek help from those who did

It’s nearly impossible to overstate the importance of financial literacy. While a business owner can learn along the way, having a strong understanding of the financial needs and performance of their company can help them avoid making some of the costly mistakes that can hurt an organization.

This need only grows over time, from knowing how much money you need to start up, to understanding when it’s time to make changes in your business. Paying close attention to the common business financial statements produced each month, quarter or year can give you invaluable insights into sales trends, vendor costs, payroll and other business expenses so that you can take action before a small problem escalates.

Overview of Common Business Financial Statements

What is a Balance Sheet?

The balance sheet shows an organization’s assets, liabilities and net worth. The organization’s assets must be equal to the sum of its liabilities (debts) plus equity in order to balance.

Assets are items an organization owns that have value; meaning, they can be sold or leveraged to make services or products which can be sold.

Liabilities are debts owed by the business to another organization or individual.

Net worth, or equity, is what an organization would have if all assets were sold and all liabilities satisfied. An organization’s net worth belongs to its owner and/or any and all shareholders.

What is an Income Statement?

The income statement shows how much revenue, or income, an organization earned over a specific time period (often over a quarter or year). And it also shows the costs and expenses attributed to earning that revenue.

The commonly used phrase, “the bottom line…” is derived from the actual bottom line of the income statement because it shows an organization’s net income or net loss after costs and expenses are deducted.

What is a Cash Flow Statement?

While income statements have a bottom line of net earnings or loss for a given period, cash flow statements show the movement of cash in and out of an organization.

Understanding the flow of cash going in and out of your business is important because you need to know whether you have enough money coming in to cover operating and capital expenses. It can also help show you where your cash is coming from (or whether activities, such as operating activities) are not generating enough cash to cover operating expenses.

So what if you do have slow cash flow? Apart from growing your business or increasing sales, another way to speed up cash flow is to factor customer invoices instead of chasing down payments. Some companies do this on an on-going basis until they have grown to the point that incoming revenue from sales more than cover business expenses. Other companies choose to factor invoices only occasionally or to spot-factor invoices in order to free up working capital to meet payroll, invest in emerging growth opportunities, pay vendors more quickly for fast-pay discounts, and so on.

The more you understand your organization’s cash flow, the better you can leverage financial tools that expedite working capital. This can help you run your business more effectively and efficiently, or put you in a position to grow your company faster.

Why Understanding Common Business Financial Statements is Important

In business, chances are that sooner or later you will need to be able to read and interpret common financial statements in order to make good business decisions for your organization and avoid costly mistakes.

A better understanding of the financial position of your business can help you determine whether, and how, business financing options like invoice factoring could provide you with expedited working capital or a more consistent flow of cash so that you can focus on growing your business to the next level.

7 Things to Do Before Launching a New Product or Service

Launching a New Product or Service? Do These 7 Things First

When you’re launching a new product or service, answer these seven questions to ensure it gets the customer attention it deserves and produces the new sales you desire.

Don’t Fly by the Seat of Your Pants! – 7 Point Checklist for Launching a New Product or Service

All too often a stellar product or service launch falls flat simply because the groundwork for product launch success was not done. In fact, data suggests that 64% of small businesses (or even more) don’t even have a documented marketing plan.

What you do before launching a new product or service option could be just as important as the product or service itself. Position your new product or service for faster client adoption using this seven-point new product launch checklist.

7 Things to Do Before Launching a New Product or Service

1. Identify “who” will want it.

If you’re launching a new product, chances are it fits one or more segments of your existing customer base (and target markets) better than others. Or you may be planning to add products or services that will attract new target markets, outside of those your business normally serves. In either case, successfully launching a new product or service requires that you identify “who” will want it.

Based on purchasing history, identify pioneers and early adopters among your customer base, or use your marketing to target pioneers and early adopters among members of your target audiences.

2. Specify “why” members of your target audience should want it.

Value propositions and competitive differentiators aren’t just for brands. You should be able to accurately describe – in detail – why members of your target markets would want any new product or service you plan to launch.

3. Court influencers and put them to work when launching a new product.

Based on purchasing history, identify pioneers and early adopters among your customer base, or use your marketing to target pioneers and early adopters among members of your target audiences.

  • Invite them to pre-launch events
  • Employ their feedback for product or service refinement before the launch
  • Use their comments as testimonials and social proof
  • Invite influencers to sample new products or services and share their experiences on social networks
  • Share recommendations from celebrities and experts on your social networks and marketing communications

4. Create anticipation and demand before launching a new product.

Initiating communications about a new product or service beginning weeks – or even months – prior to its launch gives you the ability to create anticipation among your customers and prospects. Additionally, by creating demand prior to a product or service launch you will have a better idea of the level of product inventory (or service supplies) you will want to have on hand for the launch period.

5. Extend a no-risk trial proposition.

Money-back guarantees, free add-ons and other incentives can help to allay any concerns that your customers or prospects may have about trying a new product or service.

6. Make it an offer too good to refuse.

Reward those who are willing to pioneer adoption of your new product or service by extending a special trial period offer, free gift with purchase, financing options (for big-ticket items), or another inducement that makes it easier for customers and prospects to say “yes” than it is to say “no thanks” when it comes to trying your new product or service.

7. Create urgency.

Special offers and incentives should be time-limited, so that your customers are encouraged to try new products or services before they disappear. Likewise, if sales are less than anticipated or less than needed to keep a newly-launched product or service in your line up, encourage customers to purchase and to recommend it to their friends, co-workers or loved ones in order to step up demand.

You might also like: How-To and Marketing Tips for Vendors Selling on Zulily

5 Small Business Superpowers Big Rivals Can’t Touch

5 Small Business Superpowers Big Rivals Can’t Touch

It’s not always about growing to the next level. Some of the small business superpowers your not-so-big business has are things larger competitors lack, which might mean staying small is better for your organization.

Mergers, Acquisitions and Partnerships – Oh My! 5 Benefits of Keeping Your Small Business Small

If it seems like a lot of companies got bigger by joining forces in the past couple of years, it’s because they did. Deloitte’s Merger and Acquisitions Trends report for 2019 found that 79 percent of responders anticipated they would close more deals over the next 12 months, up from 70 percent in 2018. In addition, more than 80 percent planned to sell off assets in 2019, up from 70 percent the year before.

It can be difficult to watch social media feeds and newswires light up with stories of larger competitors making acquisitions, merging with other companies and forming partnerships for lead acquisition, especially when you know that there are things your small business does better.

Rather than worrying about competing on scale, it might be smarter to leverage those things a small business can do that larger rivals cannot, to make your business more profitable without actually getting bigger. Since you might not know how to leverage these small business superpowers to outpace bigger rivals, we also included a few tips to help you turn advantages like these into growth.

5 Small Business Superpowers Big Rivals Can’t Touch

1. Access

Unless they go on a reality show like Undercover Boss, most CEOs and executives in large organizations have little contact with real customers on a day in, day out basis. They don’t have a chance to engage in two-way dialogue, collect first-hand feedback about the customer experience or find out what customers wish the brand would do next.

Take every opportunity to listen when customers complain, ask questions, or make suggestions. The insights they provide can tell you exactly what you need to do to make your business better, more profitable and guide your choices when it comes to adding to new products and services.

2. Accountability

In a big organization responsibility for mistakes can be passed along until a furor dies down, and accolades for success don’t always trickle down to the employees who really made the difference. For better and for worse, a small business offers their customers accountability and gives every employee a chance to shine.

Leaders who aren’t afraid of taking responsibility for mistakes, missteps and misfires often earn the respect not only from customers, but employees as well. Take responsibility for the mistake and make the solution happen. Worry about tracking the details back later to ensure product or service performance in the future. Be generous with praise. Make sure that everyone on the team has a chance to shine and understands that the success of the one can only ever happen as a result of the effort of the whole.

3. Agility

Bureaucracy, processes, committees and getting the-powers-that-be to change direction or add new projects mean that big companies will almost always take longer to react to marketplace changes and emerging opportunities than a small business. A small business can react and make course corrections quickly. They can communicate almost immediately with all staff who need to make adjustments. They can move resources and redirect efforts in a short period of time when new opportunities emerge. These small business superpowers enable smaller companies to move faster than big ones.

Agility isn’t a verb; rather, it’s a passive state of energy. A small business that prides itself on agility but never takes action is wasting this small business superpower. Make sure that you have a process for discovering and evaluating suggestions, ideas and marketplace changes so that when opportunity strikes, you can strike right back.

4. Simplicity

As companies get bigger and bigger, it’s not just their offices that start to look like a maze. Trying to figure out who to contact with a question or when a new product or service will hit the floor can be a job in and of itself. A small business can keep things simple. From processes to communication channels and corporate announcements, customers and employees can feel confident that they are in the know about where to go and what’s coming next.

The routes might be clear, but they still need to be mapped. Make sure that you establish methodology for tracking and reporting stats and progress to the team on a regular basis — and then do it — so that everyone knows what they need to do next.

5. Consistency

Big companies are often stretched in many different directions, so much so that departments could even end up working to cross purposes or unknowingly undermine one another with prospects and customers. A small business has the luxury of finding and focusing on a few or even one common purpose. Employees not only understand the mission but can work together to achieve the goals with a minimum of disruption, since communication is practically instantaneous, everyone can be apprised of the status of all the projects underway at any given time.

The more consistent a brand experience is, the stronger the impression can be; but remember that a consistently boring experience might be just as bad as a negative one. Decide what type of customer experience your brand should deliver and what you will do to get it done. Ensure that all staff have a clear understanding of how what they do impacts and have the ability to improve the customer experience.

Regardless of size, your company has small business superpowers big competitors can’t replicate. The question is, have you discovered them, and how will you use them for good?

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We offer small business invoice factoring, a financing tool you can use to expedite cash flow and even create competitive advantages.

Ask us for a free, no-risk, no-obligation small business financing proposal. Get immediate answers and get access to working capital within days of approval – or even faster.