You’re well aware you’re not entering an empty landscape; many of your clients will have worked with different staffing agencies, and they will have many different options to turn to.
Even in underserved markets, you may find there’s still a good level of competition. Some staffing agencies operate countrywide and have already earned their reputations. Local operations in smaller markets may be trusted by local employers. A new entrant to the market may be met with disinterest or even distrust.
No matter where you open up shop, you’ll be entering into competition with the top staffing agencies in the country. The question you have now is, “how can a small, first-year business
These tips and ideas can help put you on more solid ground as you go toe-to-toe with these firms. Smaller businesses often have many advantages over their larger counterparts—you just need to know how to leverage those advantages correctly.
1. Focus on Customer Service
One of the best reasons to work with a smaller business in any industry is the level of service. In most cases, small businesses simply offer better, more personal service to their clients. This often comes from the size of the business; there may be fewer accounts to manage, or there may be more flexibility in building custom solutions.
Many of the top staffing agencies have good customer service, so you might find it difficult to compete. Strive to offer great customer service, and think about how you can go above and beyond for every client.
2. Find Your Niche
You’ve already read about specialization above. Here’s another reason to discover your niche early on in your staffing agency startup journey: it can help you compete more effectively against top agencies!
Many large staffing firms tend to be generalists. They can fill jobs in IT, but they may not know the ins and outs of the industry like you do. This plays to your advantage as you offer your customers more personalized services and greater expertise.
3. Tempt Clients with More Value
As discussed, your pricing structure can make or break your new staffing agency. Price yourself too low and you can’t turn a profit; set your fees too high and you’ll price yourself out of the market. Finding a sweet spot can be difficult.
If your competition is high priced, see if you can find a way to create more affordable packages for your clients. If your competition wins accounts based on legendarily low pricing, don’t try to outprice them. Instead, build your services around value; tell your customers what you offer for this price, and how much more it will give them versus what your competition can.
Since your firm is smaller, you can often afford to be more flexible with your pricing structure. Winning an account means adding to revenue and growing the business.
4. Get Clever with Marketing
Make your new agency stand out from your competition with a clever branding campaign. If your competition is a bland, large agency, try to communicate your business’s personality instead.
One of the best things you can do is be personable and authentic. Connect with clients on social media sites. Don’t send them messages clearly fishing for business. Instead, genuinely ask them about their business and their challenges. Respond to their questions, and don’t be afraid to send a friendly message just to say hi.
5. Make Clients Central to the Brand
As you wonder how to compete with top-rated agencies, don’t neglect the clients you already have. Remember to show your appreciation of their business. In turn, they might just become some of your best brand ambassadors.
Ask clients to refer you to other businesses, or ask them to leave you a review. In short, make your clients central to building your reputation. You’re a new agency, so you don’t have a reputation to live up to already, and a potential client who has had a bad experience with another agency might just be willing to take a gamble on a firm whose customers give rave reviews.