Spherion Staffing Services of Hernando County
After 26 years of being in the staffing industry, Teri Nichols still had a love for the business. She managed the Spherion Corporation Hernando office until 2005 when it closed. Nichols always wanted to have her own business, so she reopened the Hernando office as a licensed owner. She now had the best of both worlds – being in the business she loved and also an entrepreneur.
Even as the economy weakened and unemployment rose in 2008, she managed to maintain her profitability.
In June, as she sought to grow her business, Nichols felt she needed assistance and contacted the Florida SBDC at USF office in Brooksville. A team of consultants consisting of Jerry Karp, Mario Iezonni, Jim Parrish, Mark Narus and Eileen Rodriguez performed a business assessment with recommendations to strengthen the financial position of the company and develop a marketing plan to take advantage of the growth expected in the staffing industry as the economy continues to strengthen.
One of the recommendations that was made was to re-evaluate the job descriptions of the inside sales people. She did this having them use a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis. As a result, their focus has changed and it has increased their motivation and improved productivity significantly.
In August, Nichols grew her staff to four with the hiring of an outside salesperson to generate leads for administrative and light industrial positions. The leads are followed up by the inside sales people. This was implemented in August and has already proven to be very successful. They expect to exceed their “stretch goal” by eight percent this year.
“I can’t believe how [the business assessment] looked at every aspect and gave me a wonderful detailed report assessing all the things I’m doing right, and also some wonderful thoughts on where I need to focus my next efforts to take my business to the next level as well,” Nichols said. “Jerry also provided me a great time management tool to help my staff and me to focus in on how to improve efficiencies in our office to work smarter, not harder, as well.
“After all the research they did, he provided me with a terrific confidential business assessment report that outlines all the findings and recommendations all their experts in each field came up with to help me accelerate my business to the next level.
“The best part about all this help was that it’s right here in Hernando County located at my Chamber of Commerce and free to me. This is absolutely the best-kept secret in town, and more businesses need to realize they are there to help in every way possible,” Nichols added.