By Michael Gionta | Friday January 1, 2011
It's January and if you are like many owners you probably don't have a business plan done yet for this year. The good news is that it is not too late! 2011 will show significant growth compared with 2009 and 2010. ALL of the recruiting firms I coached showed dramatic increases in their 2010 revenues from 2009, some even had their best year ever! One of the key reasons is that we created plans with specific benchmarks that allowed them to see significantly better results than the industry on average.
Most firms are seeing nice increases in the flows of job orders, first time interviews, etc. So NOW is the time to put the ,pedal to the metal” and begin to invest in your growth. 2011 is still a blank slate ready for you to create your master work. Don't let fear drive you, the water's fine; it's time to come on in! This doesn't mean take any risk without having a plan. It does mean that if you do have a plan and if you can learn from the experience over the past 2 years the economy will support the risk you take in growing your business.
First, let us talk about what a good business plan for a recruiting firm owner is NOT. It is NOT the sum total of all the goals your recruiters have set for themselves. My experience with these types of plans is that they are out the window by February. Why? One, because you accept your recruiters numbers without challenging them, so they probably won't happen. i.e. Your 2 year tenured recruiter who billed $80,000 last year sets a goal for $300,000 next year and you don't ask him how many interviews he has to arrange to hit that number and you don't ask him what will be different. Most recruiters do NOT know the answer to these questions, yet the 1st time interview to placement ratio is the best metric that accurately predicts revenue.
The second reason these plans don't work is that the owner/manager does not have regularly scheduled meetings with their recruiters to make course adjustments early on in the year to help keep them on track.
The third reason these plans don't work is that they are generally just "feel good" exercises done during the holiday season and are simply statements of intent of a wish of what the recruiter would like to make and they don't contain the specific activity targets and time frames for execution. Just like New Year's resolutions, they are forgotten early in the year.
Now, if you are serious about creating a strong plan that has a chance to survive for the duration of 2011, here are some components that need to be in place as a MINIMUM:
Ladies and Gentlemen, you are running a BUSINESS. It is shocking to me how many of you do this without so much as an outline of objectives never mind an actual plan! The above 6 components give you six easy steps and represent the basic outline of a sound plan for your firm.
I challenge you to invest an hour a day over the next week to engineer a plan for your recruiting firm this year. Spend one hour on each of the above 6 components. You don't need an elaborately long document, but do have specific, measurable objectives with established time frames to accomplish them.
If you have struggled following through in the past, consider a professional business coach to help you establish your targets and work with you to insure they get accomplished. Determine to be outstanding this year. Don't leave your success to chance. PLAN for it!