Haley Marketing has survived two recessions – and helped hundreds of staffing and recruiting firms do the same.

In “Tips from the Haley Marketing Archive,” we revisit lessons from our own recession playbook – sharing tips from our content archive to help you craft strategies that:

  • drive sales growth
  • keep you competitive
  • position you to explode out of the box as the economy rebounds

Here are a few takeaways from “Surviving the 2007 Recession: 10 strategies for recession-proofing your firm”

NOTE: Turns out we were really ahead of the game! This article was originally written in September 2006. While we were a little early on our forecast, the ideas are just as relevant (and maybe more so) today.

  1. Lock in agreements now. While you may not be able to control how much staffing your clients use if their business slows, you can make sure your firm is the first call they make for all of their staffing needs. Options include:
    1. First call. Provide incentives for clients who call your firm first with staffing needs.
    2. Offer volume purchase incentives.
    3. Single source. Negotiate agreements with clients to become their MSP.
    4. On-site. Sign long-term contracts to assume responsibility for managing clients’ temporary staffing function.
  2. Expand client relationships. Develop a network of relationships within each client organization, so your dependence on any one relationship becomes negligible.
  3. Find ways to reduce cost, without damaging service. Ask clients: “Which of these services would you be willing to pay extra to receive?” Anything your clients won’t pay for isn’t really valuable – and can be eliminated to save money.
  4. Investigate diversification opportunities. Carefully consider natural market extensions in the following ways:
    1. Service line extension: entering related disciplines that thrive during a recession.
    2. Market expansion: opening new offices in geographic areas resistant to recession.
    3. Product line extension: offering entirely new services that move you up the value chain.
  5. Broaden your client base. If more than 10% of your business comes from any account, invest in sales and marketing to expand your client base, and reduce your dependence on key accounts.
  6. Help your clients plan ahead. Interview customers to learn more about the recession’s impact on their businesses, and then help them develop the best staffing plans.
  7. Aggressively manage financials. Cut non-essential costs and generate additional savings by driving process efficiency. See where you can negotiate better deals where possible.
  8. Upgrade technology. Adopt better digital technology platforms that improve your service delivery and train your team to use your tech to its full advantage.
  9. Make the economy “the other guy’s problem.” During any downturn, there’s still enough business out there for you to thrive. Do everything you can to capture it:
    1. Target weaker competitors’ clients
    2. Increase sales activity quotas
    3. Hire away top employees from competitors
    4. Improve your ability to locate hard-to-find talent – so you can fill every order you get
  10. Invest in smart marketing. Invest in high-ROI tactics that drive more sales inquiries, strengthen client relationships and give your sales team more opportunities to sell. Here are a few examples of smart marketing:
    1. Using integrated direct marketing to increase sales efficiency and capacity.​
    2. Creating low-cost direct marketing campaigns to stay top-of-mind.​
    3. Designing targeted promotions to drive immediate response.​
    4. Conducting educational workshops to teach people to use staffing strategically.​
    5. Developing deep and broad candidate networks to fill orders faster.​
    6. Upgrading your website to improve service and increase inquiries.​
    7. Repackaging services into new solutions.​
    8. Bringing sales and service to client meetings to create custom-tailored staffing plans.​
    9. Getting more involved in your community (increase networking and visibility).​
    10. Doing more research to gain insight into your clients’ businesses

Looking for more smart ideas to thrive in this economy?

Check out these free resources:

If there’s anything more we can do to help, we’re just a click or call away.

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