Though advanced technology seems to be the name of the game, Milissa Santos is building a successful staffing firm using strong relationships and time-honored tools.
After working 25 years in the healthcare industry and 10 years starting and building a successful staffing firm with a business partner, Milissa Santos decided she was ready to start her own specialized staffing firm. She had one purpose in mind: Find quality jobs for as many people as possible. In January 2019, she opened Eagle Staffing Company. Her mission: Pair qualified candidates with appropriate jobs in the healthcare and social service industry.
Based on her experience, Milissa knew that she had to find a way for her business to stand out. She decided to take a more traditional and personalized approach than many other staffing firms, and by doing so she has built a differentiated and successful business. She believes that there are aspects of her business approach that could help other businesses succeed, regardless of what industry they’re in. Here are three of her recommended tactics.
Tactic #1: Value the importance of personal interactions
Milissa had noticed that there was a trend in the staffing industry to perform more and more work virtually. Other firms review candidates through the profiles submitted on apps; some firms never even meet or speak with potential candidates. At Eagle, Milissa insists upon doing face-to-face interviews with every viable candidate. There is intuitive value in doing so. She acknowledges that this is more time-consuming, but she also knows that it helps her to do a better job of matching her clients with the right job opportunities. Thus, adding immeasurable value to her clients. Plus, because she knows each candidate on a personal level, it makes the most rewarding part of her job even better: telling someone they’ve landed a new job!
She understands that other small businesses are less relationship-based than staffing, but she believes it’s always good to remind your clients that you care. For example, she takes the time to ask about their personal lives as appropriate, or she might send a card.
Tactic #2: Consider old-school marketing tactics
The proliferation of digital marketing has created an unexpected opportunity for businesses. Many companies are devoting much of their marketing resources to digital media, such as targeting customers with display ads, emails, social media, and paid search. Milissa believes those are all proven tactics that often work well on a large scale, but she knew that it wasn’t the right place to get her small firm noticed.
Instead, she primarily markets Eagle by personally visiting companies with appropriate job openings for her customers and handing out brochures. It may be old-fashioned, but she gets to promote her firm for a very low cost. For many small businesses, this relationship building marketing strategy may be a better, more cost-effective system, as well as a way to retain more clients.
Tactic #3: Make use of the people and resources around you
Like most small business owners, Milissa has had to take on a wide range of tasks—including marketing, billing, accounting, and networking—in addition to her regular business duties. She has found that the key to being able to accomplish all her responsibilities is by asking for help. Her view: Take the time to talk to others in the field and interview them if possible. Look for and take advantage of all the resources available you can. Milissa has found networking through small business organizations to be very useful.
“I am constantly looking for resources for small business, and I have found many. I’m tied to the Temple Women’s Small Business Center, the Women’s Opportunity Resource Center, and SCORE, which is a resource to help small businesses throughout the entire process. LinkedIn is another great resource because the networking there is unbelievable.”
– Milissa Santos
These types of resources are out there, and they may be the key to helping unlock a business’s full growth potential.
Milissa is enjoying a great first year at Eagle Staffing Company, and she’s planning to continue to grow her business. As of April 2020, she will be expanding into the Behavioral Health/Mental Health as well as School/Education niche. All of which she has significant experience with.
But no matter how big the business gets, she’ll always keep her core values in mind: Meet with people face-to-face whenever possible, use traditional marketing tactics, and rely on the people and resources around you.
This article is intended for informational purposes only. Readers should consult their own financial advisers, attorneys or other tax advisors regarding any financial or tax strategies mentioned in this article.
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