Fall is around the corner and with it comes budgeting season! For many, the budgeting piece of the planning process can be painful. You submit your number, the boss says, “Nope, I need something better.” You submit your revision, and the boss says, “We’re not there yet.” You submit what you hope is the final revision…and the boss finally says “Okay.” Whew, glad that’s over!

But right after you breathe a sigh of relief, you start feeling sick. How in the world are you going to make that number next year?

You don’t want to make the mistake of many sales leaders and rely on additional sales or recruiter headcount to hit your numbers. In today’s hyper-competitive staffing environment, it takes 4-6 months to ramp a new producer. That means by the time you hire, onboard, train, and ramp, it’s the middle of the year before you start seeing any meaningful traction from the additional headcount. And, that doesn’t take into consideration what could happen with your existing headcount, such as turnover, promotions, and the like. The one constant is change, and in my estimation, managing change in the producer ranks are what owners and executives spend 75% of their time doing. The reality? You can’t rely solely on adding seats to make your numbers. You need a viable growth strategy and even more importantly, a solid execution plan. The big question remains: Who will do what by when to make the strategy a reality?

As you develop your 2019 growth plan, here are the three most critical drivers of growth to consider:

Sales Strategy
a. New markets

  1. News industries
  2. New verticals

Marketing Strategy
a. Grass-roots/local referrals
b. Social networking
c. Advertising

Recruiting Strategy
a. Creative sourcing
b. Improving fill rates
c. Increasing contractor retention

Your plan doesn’t have to be a 25-page document – but it does have to be written down and revisited regularly to make sure key initiatives are implemented. What are you waiting for? Make those key decisions, get your plan on paper and assign resources to bring it to life.


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