As we all know and feel, the world is changing quickly. The Great Recession brought permanent and meaningful shifts in the relationship between business, consumers and employees.
Tried and true legacy business models are being challenged as consumer preferences change at an unprecedented rate. Customers know what they want and have little patience for those retailers and vendors who cannot keep up. Sales are shifting from established brick and mortar firms to those who can integrate online, offline, mobile and in some cases physical locations. With margins squeezed on both sides of the value chain how can retailers and vendors alike invest in new essential capabilities while their P & L is under fire?
It appears that the most common lever that firms are using to cut costs resides in the downsizing of staff. Often the second largest item on the income statement (after cost of goods), cutting people costs has become popular due to the relative speed and ease to which companies can transition to a lower cost business model. But like most things in life, there is a cost that goes along with it.
Due to their higher compensation cost, companies often cut the most knowledgeable and experienced staff first, thus jettisoning key intellectual horsepower and learnings along the way in an effort to trim as much cost as possible in the shortest time frame.
How can firms mitigate this risk?
Freelance Contractors. Hiring an experienced professional with the right background, available as needed can fill the gap efficiently and cost effectively. As we at Retail Advisors Network™ have learned over the last few months, there are thousands of intelligent, accomplished, flexible and high performing people out there looking to work on contract for the right company. They have often worked for some of the biggest brands in the business and can offer tremendous thought leadership to an organization who may want a fresh perspective or to fill in missing expertise. Freelancers can also execute because they have executed successfully dozens of times in the past while at large firms.
Firms get to tap into this knowledge pool while managing costs as the contractor is only brought in as needed.
No benefits, bonuses, transition costs and long term commitment.
Don’t take our word for it. Accenture recently published a piece citing how 43% of the US workforce will be freelance by 2020.
CLICK HERE to read the article.
At Retail Advisors Network™ we have created a firm that helps fill this gap and is tailored to the changing environment within the retail consulting and staffing industries. Unlike pure platform marketplaces we use our extensive years of retail and vendor experience to vet each advisor prior to matching them up with clients. Our extremely low overhead business model and low financial markup provides us with a tremendous competitive advantage vs traditional consulting and staffing agencies. Finally, we take the complexity out of freelancing on both sides of the project by handling all contracts and payment activities for the client and the freelancer. Overall, our value proposition is superb…..highly skilled people, only when you need them, at very competitive rates.
In the 1930’s, U.S. President Roosevelt helped usher in “The New Deal” to help invigorate the nation during the Great Depression. The rules changed and with it came prosperity. Things have indeed changed in retail, and if one chooses to embrace these changes, and learn to work within the new normal, one can not only survive but thrive on either side of the business and employee relationship.
Check out our website and give us a call for a free consultation.
Tony Whitehouse & Bruce Winder
Co-Founders & Partners
Retail Advisors Network™
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