Last month I received a surprising and pleasant call from my friends at Apex. Apex nominated me for an IPPA Sales Leader Award recognizing the sales growth of my payroll service bureau, Premier Payroll Services. If you are not familiar with the IPPA, it’s the Independent Payroll Providers Association, an industry group for hundreds of small payroll bureaus like me that compete against the big corporate guys like ADP. IPPA holds a Sales and Marketing conference every year in Las Vegas for small, independent bureau operators to talk about their challenges and successes in sales and marketing for their payroll business.
We’ve been very fortunate over the past few years to reap some significant growth. We’ve grown over 50% in our payroll business and soon will double in size. I’m so proud of my staff who provide great dedicated service everyday and proud of my loyal customers who are more like friends. So, when Apex asked me to write a bit about my keys to growth success, great staff and customer relationships are the first items that came to mind. But that’s not earth shattering and I’m sure anyone reading this already knows these keys. Let me highlight a few other areas that helped my payroll business grow.
First, technology. Please, I am not saying this because I’m posting on an Apex sponsored blog. I firmly believe that Premier Payroll Services could not have achieved our recent growth without the technology platform and human support we’ve received from Apex. But, honestly, you could receive that same boost to your bureau growth with other technology providers as well. My point, you need modern, scalable, payroll + HCM capabilities to truly drive growth for your payroll business.
Second, power to the people. I mean give your clients the power to enter data, view reports, and manage the process. More and more of our clients want to do more self-service. Don’t fight it but embrace it. If your current system doesn’t have a client and employee portal with mobile accessibility, quickly find one. Today’s millennials, and younger clients, are comfortable and want immediate self-service access. It doesn’t reduce your value, it just changes what you do and how your position yourself.
Third, think broadly. I completely subscribe to the saying, “Think globally but act locally.” While I daily focus like a laser on my individual clients and my local Birmingham Alabama market, I do take time to step back, interact with industry colleagues, and keep abreast of industry changes. Attending industry trade shows, vendor user conferences, and customer councils, all these activities require time out of my schedule and money out of my pocket. But, the wisdom I’ve gained, new ideas I’ve implemented, have been invaluable to helping me grow my payroll business.
I started this blog stating a surprise. Now I’ll end with something not surprising. In my experience, these is no single key to growth success. But you focus on your staff, clients, technology, and listen to your industry peers, you will be on the right path.
Pat McTamney, Owner, Premier Payroll Services. I welcome your comments and questions at firstname.lastname@example.org