A Word on Scale…
Understanding how to scale is a priority if you want to grow your business to a notable size.
If you’re really wanting to 2X, 5X or 10X your agency here are a few ideas to help you out.
Scale happens in a business when the revenue increases whilst the operating costs remain low. This comes about by various means that mostly come back to automating repeatable processes in the most cost-effective way and building in standardised workflows wherever possible.
Automating can mean tech (and usually does), although it can also mean engaging more cost-effective resources, i.e. people or companies that can do something in your business more cost-effectively than you can do it yourself
What Does a Scalable Recruitment Agency Look Like?
- A business that can grow without you (the leader) investing more time in the business.
- A business with strategies/processes in place that can be cranked up or cranked down to deliver incremental changes and predictable revenue.
- A saleable asset.
- A business that displays consistency across the board, no matter how big – think McDonald’s, Amazon…
- Oh, and did I mention a business that delivers you great profits AND the time to enjoy them.
Where do I Start When Thinking About How to Scale my Agency?
1) Understand what sets you apart
This will help you focus on building upon the strengths you already have. For example, if you are known for delivering a certain type of candidate look for ways to scale by finding more of them to maximize your advantage.
2) Know your end game
You need to know what you are aiming for to focus on the right areas to scale. Who is your ideal client? What fees do you charge? Where is your business? How much revenue do you want to make this year, in 3 years time, in 5 years time…? What is your agency model going to look like? Are you going to have 360 consultants or perhaps business developers and an outsourced model for lead gen for candidates? All this will dictate the template of your business that you then scale.
3) Focus on creating automated processes around the right things
The areas to automate first are the processes in your business that are both repeatable and predictable. For example, onboarding new staff or the way you process your accounts, chase debtors etc. Don’t reinvent the wheel each time! Take some time to set up a process to save time and money next time.
4) Identify bottlenecks in the business that you can unravel and automate
Do you find yourself waiting for certain things to happen before you can move forward? An example could be waiting for content for an e-shot from individual consultants. Perhaps create a template that makes the information easier to submit to a central folder and an automated reminder 2 days prior to ensure you have the content without having to chase people. Simple example but you get the point!
A tough one for recruiters! Delegate where you can anything below your paygrade or outside your skill set for starters. I understand in the beginning the funds aren’t always there to do this; if that’s the case work towards being able to do this. And look to outsource business functions where it’s more cost effective to do so.
6) Know when to scale
Only scale a process once it is delivering what you want. For example, if you outsource lead generation of candidates don’t scale the process until you’re getting the right number of quality candidates and have tested the process for inefficiencies. Once you have tested your system and it is delivering you the results you want, then you can scale it knowing you will get the same good results each time.
There are many parts that make up an agency that in an ideal world “talk” to each other. Every piece of software is different and there is no one size fits all here but a great way to achieve efficiency is through tech automation wherever you can. So if you have systems such as your CRM, your website and your payrolling (potentially) that could work “more together” consider tools such as Zapier to help you build those connections.
8) A word on tech
There will be processes you are doing manually in your business that you probably aren’t even aware there is a tech solution for. There is a tech solution for pretty much everything now, it’s usually really easy to use and comes with a fair price tag…or free! If you are looking for ways to automate a process take a look at sites like g2crowd.com for software suggestions.
9) Scale ISN’T awareness
Thinking you just need more clients and candidates to know about you to grow your business is naive. It’s important sure, but you have to be able to deliver and service an increasing number of clients and candidates as you grow so they are left 100% satisfied. Having a business that is set up to scale is the only way forward. If you don’t have systems in place to manage the growing demand for your services your delivery and ultimately your reputation and profit will suffer.
Most agencies don’t fail because of competition; they fail because they can’t get past the start-up phase and scale to the next level. They implode! Take the time to learn how to automate and scale your business so you can build a high performing agency faster.
Thanks for reading.