You’re well aware you’re not operating in an empty landscape; many of your clients will have worked with various staffing agencies, and they will have many different options to turn to. Even in underserved markets, you may find there’s still a good level of competition. With established staffing agencies having solid reputations and operating on national and global scales, it can be difficult for a small, local staffing agency like yours to stand out from the crowd.
The question you have now is: how can a small agency possibly hope to compete? These tips and ideas can help put you on more solid ground as you go toe-to-toe with larger firms. Truthfully, smaller businesses often have many advantages over their larger counterparts; you just need to know how to correctly leverage them!
One of the best reasons to work with a smaller business in any industry is the level of service. In most cases, small firms simply offer better, more personal service to their clients. This often comes from the size of the business; there may be fewer accounts to manage, or there may be more flexibility in building custom solutions.
Many of the top agencies have good customer service, so you might find it difficult to compete. Strive to offer great customer service, and think about how you can go above and beyond for every client.
Choosing a niche can help you compete more effectively against top agencies. Many large agencies tend to be generalists; they can fill jobs in IT, but they may not know the ins and outs of the industry like you do. This plays to your advantage as you offer your customers more personalized services and greater expertise. It’s never too late to zero in on a specialty.
Your pricing structure can make or break your small staffing agency. Price yourself too low, and you can’t turn a profit; set your fees too high, and you’ll price yourself out of the market. Finding a sweet spot can be difficult.
If your competition is highly priced, see if you can find a way to create more affordable packages for your clients. If your competition wins accounts based on legendarily low pricing, don’t try to outprice them. Instead, build your services around value. Tell your customers what you offer for this price, and how much more it will give them, versus what your competition can.
Since your firm is smaller, you can often afford to be more flexible with your pricing structure. Winning an account means adding to revenue and growing the business.
Make your small agency stand out from your competition with a clever branding campaign. If your competition is a bland, large agency, try to communicate your business’s personality instead.
One of the best things you can do is be personable and authentic. Connect with clients on social media sites, but don’t send them messages clearly fishing for business. Instead, genuinely ask them about their business and their challenges. Respond to their questions, and don’t be afraid to send a friendly message just to say hi.
As you wonder how to compete with top-rated agencies, don’t neglect the clients you already have. Remember to show your appreciation of their business. In turn, they might just become some of your best brand ambassadors.
Ask clients to refer you to other businesses, or ask them to leave you a review. In short, make your clients central to building your reputation. You’re a smaller agency, but a potential client who has had a bad experience with another agency might just be willing to take a gamble on a firm whose customers give rave reviews.