Outplacement Services Definition
Start-up cost: $15,000–$30,000
Potential earnings: $75,000–$150,000
Typical fees: Retainer fees of $1,000–$3,000 per month
Advertising: Yellow Pages, direct mail to human resource managers,
trade shows, promotional items, networking, banner ads
on human resource-related Web sites, your own Website with client company testimonials and your unique
selling proposition (i.e., what sets you apart from other
Qualiﬁcations: A background in human resources
Equipment needed: Computer with Internet access, fax, phone, letterhead,
business cards, corporate directories, career counseling/
skills assessment materials, cell phone
Staﬀ required: No
Hidden costs: Insurance, phone bills, and time spent with each client
(they’ll want more of your time than is proﬁtable for you)
What You Do
The late ’90s through the early ’00s weren’t exactly kind to much of the workforce.
Unfortunately, layoﬀs still abound in certain industries. That is why you need to promote your Outplacement Services Definition, which helps displaced individuals ﬁnd new work elsewhere.
Read the business pages daily to keep tabs on local companies. Generally, whenever
there’s a bad quarter, a layoﬀ will follow. Your goal is to be the ﬁrst (or the best)
to approach these companies—at a time just before they actually need you. Your
services can be in place before the downsizing is even announced to the employees,
which is generally the way companies prefer to handle the layoﬀs. In this way, it will
look like they already have a plan for those employees caught completely oﬀ guard.
What You Need
Your start-up costs are likely to be quite high. You’ll need to have a computer
system with high-speed Internet access for doing online job searches and similar
research. Detailed corporate directories alone could run as high as $6,000 per
set. A professional-looking Web site would also be a wise investment. Expect
to spend between $15,000–$30,000 getting started; expect to pull in between
$75,000–$150,000 per year once you’ve established a name for yourself. It’s a
business that can be lucrative for those who have a good reputation. Word of
mouth travels fast in industry these days (especially via e-mail).
Keys to Success
The best thing you can do in this business is to stay on top of things. Keep an ear
to the ground, perhaps by networking closely with members of the Society for
Human Resource Managers. And always get your promotional materials in front of the vice president of operations or other key decision-makers before your competitors do.