Ask Barb: Sell the Business Or Hire More Help?

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May 23, 2012

Dear Barb:

You are the only trainer that I feel will give it to me straight. I’ve owned my firm for 20+ years and I’m down to me and one other guy. Business has increased, but I don’t know if I have it in me to rebuild again or if I should just turn business down. My personal production makes up almost 80% of our total sales, which scares me and my wife, in case something should ever happen to me. I’m not able to work all the job orders that are coming in and I have the space to put them – I just don’t know if I have the energy to hire, train, and manage again. What would you suggest I do, I’ve decided to just listen to your advice on this one.

Steve H., Plano, TX

Dear Steve:

Only you can answer this question. The first thing you need to do is decide on your Exit Plan. What do you plan to do with your business when you are done working? If you intend to sell your business, you need to hire and your personal production should not equal more than 30% of your revenue. If you intend to pull as much money out of your company as possible and then close the door, you don’t necessarily need to hire. You could join a network and share the orders with members who could help you fill them. You could use a third party research company to do all the legwork for you so that all you do is close and place candidates. You could hire virtual recruiters to work on your orders. You have many options that you are not considering.

However, if you intend to sell your company, you need to build a company that can stand alone without depending so much on your personal production. You might also consider opening a contract division, which sells higher than direct placement firms. You can use funding companies like TFI Resources to provide you with your entire back office.

I would suggest you sit down with your wife and have a serious discussion about your ‘Exit Plan’ before you make any decisions. If you don’t have a specific ‘Exit Plan,’ chances are that you are making wrong decisions today. Once you know where you’re going, you will know which decision to make. If you decide to hire and don’t want to train them yourself, call me so I can conduct a DEMO of our Top Producer Tutor training program!

Make sure you determine your Financial Freedom Day. Fill in these blanks

By __________my net worth will be $_________________.

Work with your accountant to determine your current net worth and then have him help you figure out what dollar amount you need in order to maintain your current lifestyle, knowing that expenses will increase as you get older. When you achieve your financial freedom day you don’t have to retire, but you could if you choose to do so. You can now make choices for yourself and your family.

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

Would you like to Ask Barb a question? Email her at Each month in The Fordyce Letter print edition, Barbara Bruno answers questions from individuals in the Recruiting Profession. We will bring you some of these Q&A responses from Barb each week on

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