You have probably seen the news about giants like Meta, Coinbase, or even Tesla losing huge amounts of money or letting worrying numbers of their employees go. Even the recruitment sector is facing the shortest uptake of new jobs in years. And whilst you might not be experiencing massive issues within your business yet, there’s no denying that we need to start getting ready for a potential change in the marketplace.
There’s no need to let your imagination run wild, though. You can easily prepare yourself for any changes in the industry that are heading our way, so you don’t end up drowning when it happens.
Re-evaluate your plan for the rest of the year
It’s great that you have a solid annual business plan in place, but do you adjust it throughout the year in accordance with the market fluctuations? Let’s be honest – most of us create a plan at the beginning of the year and then don’t touch it again. This might work if the market is stable but in uncertain times like these, it’s crucial you evaluate if your plan and budget are still valid. The goals you set in January might not be realistic anymore, so instead of sending your recruiters on a wild goose chase, make sure they’re working towards achievable things.
Make sure your budget is in the right place
Getting your business ready also involves re-evaluating your budget – the amounts you set at the beginning of the year might need to be trimmed down now if you want your agency to survive. We tend to stack up costs when things are going well and don’t think about them too much. But as soon as the market changes, those costs can make your entire ship sink. This means going in with a fine-tooth comb and really assessing which spendings are crucial, which bring you more business and generate income, and which can be put on hold for a while. It might be worth looking into your CRM and how it can help you manage your costs. It’s no secret that everyone’s prices are going up at the minute. It might be worth having a look at your job board spending, evaluating the sources you use, and re-engaging talent from within your database.
Take some time out to score your business on how efficient all processes are
Making sure all your processes are air-tight before trouble hits you is a great way of saving time and money during uncertain periods (which is when they’ll be in demand). You don’t want to find your business and your team having no idea what to do when suddenly there’s a need for doing more business development, do you?
The way I like to go about it is to break all your processes into their key components down and rate each part on a scale of 1 to 5. Let’s stick with business development as an example here: you could divide it into identifying new accounts, account management, lead generation, and new business development. Then you’d score each of these based on their efficiency, how comfortable your team feels about them, and so on. The components you rated lower need a bit more work – and now is the time to put that work in!
It might feel like you’ll be using a lot of time on something that doesn’t bring you direct business but trust me – it will help you be way ahead of your competition when the more uncertain times come! After all, if the market shifts, we will most likely be forced to get out there and acquire new clients ourselves. Making sure your team is trained and ready to do that is crucial for your agency’s survival.
Bring all your technology into one
One of the biggest mistakes I see agency owners do is splitting their business (and their attention!) into too many parts. Having to pay for web design, email marketing, job board adverts, CRM, and more separately is a recipe for overspending. Instead of trying to keep track of 10 different accounts and bills, why not find a provider that allows you to monitor everything from one place?
For even more insight on planning the future of your agency accordingly to the market, have a read of our eBook!
Wendy McDougall is Chief Fish of Firefish Software. In her spare time, you'll find her playing squash or feeding her inner geek with the latest technology!