The last time we checked in with this staffing company, three family members – Cruz, his wife Nelba, and daughter Cecilia had taken their staffing business from their kitchen table to the office they built in 2007, and were expanding. Cruz had spent years in food manufacturing before launching his company, and through the first few decades, his company focused on providing staff to food manufacturing plants just like the one where Cruz had once worked.
They made a name for themselves with service. Last time we talked, Cecilia had pointed out “We don’t sell divots, and we don’t sell lumber. We sell a service. There’s really not a whole lot you can do in our industry that isn’t like everyone else. Service is really the key. It’s how we talk to our clients and how we meet their needs.”
Diversifying the business
Three years later, things have changed. No longer are they only focusing on food manufacturing; it used to be their bread and butter, but with their reputation spreading beyond the industry Cruz once knew so well, they’ve diversified their client base.
“We’ve had some companies that have left us in clients because of being bought out, but we’ve seen an uptick of wages for personnel,” Cecilia says.
Service is still a priority. Cecilia wants everyone – workers and client companies – to get a personal touch. They downsized staff a bit to focus on people essential to customer service.
“The staffing industry is highly saturated, even more so these days,” Cecilia says. “A lot of my competitors I’ve known for years are still around, but there are a lot of small baby staffing companies on the block now.”
“I don’t think the staffing industry is going anywhere; I think if anything it will expand. The market is a little tight as far as manufacturing goes – a lot of people are holding onto their coin purses and making calls to companies, but there’s a lot of companies that have just been thriving.”
A path to full-time employment
Their staffing company is in the business of matching people to jobs – even if they aren’t directly working for the company, they may well be eventually. With the need for temp workers going up, and more and more companies seeing temp workers as an opportunity to “test-drive” employees, Cecilia sees their role as being a bridge to full-time employment.
“It lets the person decide about the company – and the company can decide about them, based on their actual job performance, not an hour-long interview and some words on a page,” she says.
For Cruz & Cecilia’s staffing business, successful transitions like that are a win-win for all parties. They get revenue; the company knows they can depend on the staffing company to send good talent; and workers know they can find a path to full-time employment through their placements.
Cecilia focuses on making sure they’re set up for success. “We actually escort our temps to the site for each new job order,” she says. “They have to be at one site by 6 AM; I have a rep there to meet them and escort them to the right supervisor. These places can be so big, and you can get lost.”
From man, to man’s best friend
Cecilia has one weakness: She can’t resist a dog.
“I have … a pack,” she says, laughing. She’s not kidding: she has nine dogs, all shapes and sizes. There’s a crazy Pomeranian they acquired “from her owner’s deathbed”; there’s an enormous Labrador-Great Dane mix who’s a big baby; two Catahoula sisters who raised a scruffy border terrier from puppyhood; a pit bull who nobody wanted, but who guards the yard.
They were, essentially, running a doggie daycare in their enormous warehouse of an office already; but Cecilia, realizing they’d never fully use the cavernous space for office space, proposed making it real. Their new doggie daycare opens later this year.
“We think it will be great, and it will open up doors of opportunity for us with clients we’d never have thought of otherwise. Plus, we’ll be our own customer!” Cecilia says, her enthusiasm infectious.
Finding service at Far West Capital
Cruz & Cecilia’s staffing company has been working with us at Far West Capital since 2015.
“One of the reasons we went with Far West Capital in the beginning is that we were treated with respect, and they were kind, and fair,” Cecilia says. “We had some hiccups in the beginning, but now we’re very happy. They’ve given us great advice, warned us against some things we shouldn’t have been doing.”
“That’s the kind of service we provide, and it’s been great to get that from our factoring firm. Really grateful to work with them.”
Far West Capital Sr. Account Manager Alexis Collins, who has been working with them since 2015, is similarly effusive. “All in all, they’ve been nothing short of fabulous- one of our best clients. They’ve gotten a lot more selective about who they’re doing business with – working smarter, not harder.”
“It doesn’t surprise me they’re launching a doggie daycare,” Alexis chuckles “It’s really smart, with all that extra space. I love that they’re always trying new things, while their core business gets better and more efficient every year.”
Far West Capital is in the business of funding the goals of high-growth entrepreneurs. Know a great company in need of capital to unleash their potential? Send them here and we’ll give them a call.