Until the company was acquired in 2022, WorkStaffing was a light industrial staffing agency based in Omaha, Nebraska. Russell and Laura Mann founded and operated WorkStaffing with a mission to connect community businesses with workers for temporary and long-term employment. They offered temp-to-hire and direct hire work, helping to meet the labor demands of businesses in their area.
Many growing businesses and those with lots of seasonal work have counted on WorkStaffing to meet short and long-term hiring goals, ensuring quality placements thanks to thorough screening and support.
The journey of business ownership began for Russell and Laura in 1995 when they bought into a larger talent placement franchise. For years, they operated as a franchise, but over time they leveraged their success to start their own talent placement business. Soon after, they formed a cooperative independent owners group, networking and collaborating with like-minded agencies.
The teams at WorkStaffing built a successful enterprise and set themselves apart from the competition. Area businesses appreciated the fact that WorkStaffing was locally-owned and operated. Most talent placement agencies are regional or national, lacking that hometown accountability you can get from hiring partners closer to home. And it wasn’t regional managers running the show at WorkStaffing. Instead, the company was managed by two highly-engaged, active owners in Russell and Laura.
WorkStaffing also offered distinct flexibility in the kinds of jobs they placed. Though the bulk of their placements were weekly pay positions, they offered mechanisms for early pay that created a huge benefit for workers with immediate needs.
They also worked with a variety of job types, including one-off projects. These kinds of placements added complexity to WorkStaffing’s scheduling and payment systems. However, this flexibility allowed WorkStaffing to serve a larger market of businesses and workers with short-term employment needs. These innovations were born out of difficult seasons when market conditions hit the labor market hard. Through it all, WorkStaffing weathered the storm and emerged as a lasting, successful business.
When prepping to sell a business, management demands become more pronounced. Prospective buyers and investors need to be able to confirm that thorough operational management is in place. They also demand proof that the business will remain profitable in the form of meticulous financial projections.
Though WorkStaffing was prepared for continued operation and success, they needed more thorough financial reporting, analysis, and strategy to make their business appealing to potential buyers.
Laura and Russell say they learned most of what they know about business management “on the job”. Laura had been a school teacher and Russell was a marketing major with a background in sales. Their ability to learn and adapt while managing a team of excellent people made WorkStaffing a valuable partner for their clients.
Throughout the years, WorkStaffing relied on various forms of financial management. A large accounting firm provided limited financial management at first, though Russell and Laura would later hire a dedicated internal accountant.
For the better part of 15 years, WorkStaffing teams used QuickBooks to manage their accounting data. However, QuickBooks databases must be built and maintained correctly from the very beginning in order to deliver the best results possible. Some errors were made along the way that would eventually impact the validity and usefulness of their financial data.
When the couple began evaluating the eventual sale of their business, they realized accrual accounting was crucial to proving WorkStaffing’s value to potential buyers. They knew they would need help producing the financial statements and projections necessary to sell their business.
Through a mutual associate, Russell and Laura Mann were introduced to Mary Ferry of Advantage Insights. Upon first meeting her, they were impressed with Mary’s thoughtful approach and poignant questions.
“She just has such confidence, poise, and professionalism. She has the ability to explain these things in an easy-to-understand way.”
-Laura Mann, Co-Owner, WorkStaffing
Based on their first meeting, Russell and Laura agreed to work with Advantage Insights to shore up their financial reporting and produce the financial projections they needed to sell their business. They found out quickly that this was the right decision. Lots of work had to be done to recover financial data that had been omitted from or improperly categorized in their QuickBooks records.
Mary worked one-on-one with WorkStaffing’s internal accountant, offering guidance for how to use QuickBooks to its fullest extent. Through this process, Russell and Laura gained access to a level of financial awareness they hadn’t realized was possible. Advantage Insights was able to standardize their data for modern accounting forms and introduce reporting processes that would ensure a greater level of accuracy and detail going forward.
Before working with Advantage Insights, some of WorkStaffing’s financials didn’t make perfect sense to Russell and Laura, but Mary’s insights and guidance have changed that.
Russell Mann emphatically describes Mary’s work ethic and communication skills:
“She keeps her word. She’s always there for the meeting, everything is sent ahead of time, and she takes her time to explain everything as slowly as we need.”
Laura Mann explains how Advantage Insights was able to evolve WorkStaffing’s basic accounting processes into the comprehensive systems they needed:
“She asked a lot of questions—the right questions—to get the right details. Now everything is in its place and our numbers are where they need to be.”
Advantage Insights was also able to improve payroll processes for WorkStaffing. Consistent, repeatable processes help to strengthen a company’s value by securing operational longevity.
According to Laura and Russell, once you finally untangle all the knots and learn the basics of financial management, it can be a smooth and unintimidating process. If you can look at a financial statement or balance sheet that makes sense, it’s so much easier to access the information you need.
When the Manns were put in contact with a prospective buyer for WorkStaffing, they had Mary by their side to help relay vital financial information. “It was wonderful to have Mary as our contact,” said Laura, “With full confidence, we gave her name to the buyers, telling them to ask any questions they wanted to. Mary, in her professional way, satisfied every question they had about the financial health of the business.”
After the sale, Russell and Laura Mann have decided to retain financial management services from Advantage Insights in order to help with payment collection and other management needs. Overall, they are thrilled with their experience working with Advantage Insights and they want to let people know how amazing Mary and her team are.
“She’s an advocate for her clients. Mary offered ideas to improve profitability, always offering to run the numbers.”
-Laura Mann, Co-Owner, WorkStaffing
According to Russell, Advantage Insights could have made an even larger positive impact on the business if they hadn’t gotten started so late in the game.
“We started this business by the seat of our pants and mostly finished it that way… Mary showed us through her expertise there were a lot of things we could’ve done better.”
-Russell Mann, Co-Owner, WorkStaffing
“She helped us get closure. Now we can move on and take care of our grandchildren.”
-Laura Mann, Co-Owner, WorkStaffing
Outstanding financial management can be transformative for businesses at every stage of development. WorkStaffing had a solid foundation. They were a successful business with key differentiators in a competitive market. But they lacked the level of financial management they needed to engage in discussions around the sale of their business.
Advantage Insights was able to rebuild and restore existing financial reports, implement thorough processes for data collection, and set WorkStaffing up for the best possible sale outcome.
Whether or not you plan to sell your business any time soon, financial management services from Advantage Insights can improve your preparedness and profitability right now. In fact, thorough financial management and analysis make any business more capable, efficient, and attractive to potential investors.
Advantage Insights offers a variety of financial services with plans tailored to individual business needs. If you want to learn more about how Advantage Insights can evolve your business, saving you time and money, then contact us right away. We offer free consultations to help you understand your options and imagine a more successful future.