Business planning for small staffing firms consists of three key factors.

The first key factor is “values” over “vision” and “mission.”

For a smaller firm, the vision is to get the business to the top of the “Owner Operator” structure, which again is typically around 15 million in annual revenue.  “Values” are far more important and it would behoove the owner of the business to articulate either the “values” of the business or the “key principles” to the members of their organization, as well as temporary employees, contractors and customers.  Values and principles play a critical role as the criteria for decision-making.  Good consistent decision-making is a critical element to growing a company. Business planning will assist with decision-making by forcing the owner of the business to articulate the values and/or key principles alongside the goals.

A strong “Internal Assessment” is the second key factor in planning for small staffing businesses.

The owner of the business has only so much time and money – and both time and money need to be laser-focused on specific parts of the business that will give one the greatest return on their time and financial investment.  A good internal assessment will evaluate the following factors: revenues; temps on billing; gross margin averages; bill rate averages; pay rate averages; net profit; strategy; leadership; marketing; management; recruiting system; sales system; accounting and finance; culture; people; rewards; technology; and customers.

This is the point where I say, “Don’t try this alone at home.”

One certainly can interpret all this data, but the ultimate value of business planning is not the end product of the plan itself.  Rather, it is the process of planning where someone is going to dialogue with the owner and possibly key personnel in the business and put their “backs against the wall” to determine how they compare and/or execute on these variables.  The business planning process should challenge the owner and make him or her uncomfortable about certain elements in the business.  A well facilitated business planning process will get people “thinking” differently about the business and how to solve specific issues within the business.

The third key factor consists of solid sales planning. In the last part of this series, I will give you some advice on sales planning, including a useful customer analysis tool. Click here to access it:


  1.  Business Planning for Small Staffing Firms (Part 1 of 3) - Visus Group

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