15.3% of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the United States partner with a PEO for their HR activities. That statistic is nothing to sneeze at but also means there is plenty of room—85% of SMBs, in fact—for PEOs to expand their market share and grow their businesses. Research supports this, forecasting exponential growth in the PEO field between now and 2026.
If you’re a PEO professional, how do you ensure that your organization can remain competitive and grow? What are some of the best ways to ensure you’re meaningfully strategizing continual, long-term growth? What best practices can help give your organization a leg up in a growing industry?
Much of the advice around PEO growth focuses on sales tactics and trendy marketing ideas. Sales and marketing are important, but some of this advice veers towards short-term vanity growth, which doesn’t always translate to long-term success. This blog will provide PEO professionals with five tips to sustainably grow your PEO and set your organization up for success now and in the future.
Five Tips to Sustainably Grow Your PEO
- Educate and Train Your Staff
- Have Plans to Scale
- Utilize Referrals
- Private Label New Solutions
- Communicate with Clients Often
Educate and Train Your Staff
The best value-add a PEO can provide is to have staff who can easily impress prospective clients with their HR expertise, efficiently communicate the value of a PEO to prospective clients, and expertly answer current clients’ HR questions (or quickly find the people or resources who can).
Businesses partner with PEOs to solve their HR needs, and if PEO staff don’t come across as HR experts, that can be a problem. Organic, sustainable growth happens when all your team members deeply understand your services, value proposition and position themselves as invaluable resources, which involves keeping up with HR trends, challenges, and general workplace news. The key is always to prioritize the needs of your clients and their employees. If you’re investing in educating your team, they’ll know exactly how to help clients in a way that benefits their business and employees and your bottom line.
It’s in your best interest to continually educate and train your employees so that they don’t just appear to be experts but are. Create and execute a professional development strategy for every one of your employees, regularly mandate learning opportunities for current trends or best practices, and ensure you hire PEO professionals with a growth mindset.
Meaningfully educating your clients fosters deep client relationships and strengthens client retention and referrals. It’s also worth noting that it’s also much easier to upsell existing clients you have a strong relationship with than to acquire new customers.
Have Plans to Scale
Every business wants to grow, but would you be equipped to handle your business doubling, tripling, or even quadrupling in the next month? You must have plans to scale your business in place. Scaling means you can cost-effectively tackle an increased workload while meeting the demands of your business without compromising quality.
Create strategies to scale your vital processes: sales, marketing, customer service, retention, customer success, client communications, etc. How, for example, will your account management teams deal with providing personalized services to each client if their workload doubles? How will customer support answer triple the number of inquiries? Is marketing ready to create a customer newsletter that speaks to the needs of a completely new client base? These are all questions that should be discussed, strategized, and put in place before you need to implement. Be like a scout here: always be prepared.
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Strong relationships with clients are a PEO's best marketing and sales strategy. If your clients love your service, they’ll share their experiences with their partners, peers, and networks. It’s up to you to capitalize on your clients' great word of mouth.
Your job is to ensure that impressed clients can quickly become brand advocates. A referral program that incentivizes clients to pass your sales team’s information to interested parties is crucial. You can also create some sort of ambassador guidelines so that your clients know how to communicate your value proposition and benefits.
Celebrating your clients' HR successes on social media is a great way to highlight what they’re doing right and provide them with a way to highlight your organization on their channels (by retweeting, reposting, sharing, etc.) if they choose.
Private Label New Solutions
Private-label software is purchased from a SaaS provider and customized with the branding and bespoke workflows the purchaser requires. Private label purchasers work with private label providers as a mutually beneficial partnership versus the traditional buyer/client relationship. Since end-users aren’t aware of this partnership, it strengthens the brand and scope of the private label purchaser’s product offerings.
Private labeling is a good tool for companies looking to grow because it allows them to quickly and efficiently add new solutions in a low-cost way, allows organizations to go to market quickly, and expands the bandwidth of an organization’s team by gaining the expert support of the private label developers team, which is perfect for a growing organization trying to scale!
HiringThing private labels an applicant tracking system—recruiting software used to automate and streamline the hiring process—which all PEOs can benefit from. Read how below.
Communicate With Customers
We’ve touched upon quite a bit of customer-centric behavior in this post. As an organization providing customers with people-centric HR solutions, part of your brand must encompass being people-forward. This includes meaningfully communicating with your customers via check-ins, newsletters, benefit updates, best practices, and changes to your business model. If you’re growing and processes are changing—for example, your customers' account manager will now meet with them monthly versus weekly—explain to them what the change is, how it will impact their day-to-day, and most importantly, why the change is occurring and how it will ultimately benefit them.
Communicating often with customers helps establish trust, reminds them of your benefits, and proactively shows how much you’re growing!
Knowing you’re going to communicate business changes with customers transparently is a helpful check to have in place to ensure that the change will benefit them! If you can’t find a way to communicate why a change is good, maybe it’s not and should be rethought!
HiringThing is a modern recruiting platform as a service that creates seamless hiring experiences. Our private label applicant tracking system and open API enable technology and service providers to embed hiring capabilities from sourcing to onboarding. Approachable and adaptable, the platform empowers anyone, anywhere, to hire their dream team.