For the first 16 years of his career, Mark Weiss worked in the apparel sector. When imports starting taking over in the 1990s, “a lot of companies went out of business or fell on hard times,” Mark says. “I had to move around a lot.”
In 1999, Mark found himself sitting in a headhunters office recounting his background and experience. “I said to them, ‘I’m here because I am looking for a job.'” After talking to him, the man sitting across from Mark told him that he was so impressed, he would not help him find a job. Instead he hired him on the spot.
“Without even realizing it I started my second career in the staffing industry,” Mark says. While it seemed like a stretch at first, Mark soon came to see how relevant his skills were to the industry. “I’m no longer selling clothing, I’m selling people, if you will.”
In 2012, Mark opened up his wholly owned Action Staffing Group, focused on finding permanent or temporary workers to meet hiring demand in the light industrials sector.
In just five years, the company has grown to 30 direct employees and $25 million dollars in revenue. Of the employees it sources and places with clients, Mark says, “We had 4,200 W2s last year.”
His clients are mostly in the New York tristate area, but many have a national presence and are household brand names. “Our focus is on providing labor to help businesses inside their facility and and on the road,” he says. Some examples of that include commercial drivers and warehouse administrative personnel. “We do everything from the bathroom to the boardroom.”
Simple Recipe for Growth
Mark says the company’s impressive growth comes down to a few simple concepts: being profit driven, focusing on customer service, and building a great team.
“We have a committed focus on generating sales and profit every single day of the year. I think a lot of companies take their eyes off the ball,” he says. “To me, that is the ball. How do I build more revenue and more shareholder value in the company?”
Mark believes in building his team up to be successful. “When an organization operates by collaboration in terms of its team, the results are better. Conversely, when an organization operates with management oppressing the rest of the organization, results suffer.”
“Our reputation continues to grow. There is always a focus on building people up at my organization,” Mark says of the company culture he’s instilled. “We are more successful today because our employees continue to grow and be successful.”
The Action Plan
Mark says that building a successful business from scratch comes down to diligence and hard work. “The secret is you don’t get something for nothing.”
He believes in the snowball effect, that good work will produce referrals that will produce the opportunity for more business.
He stands by running a business in the most ethical and responsible way possible. Mark points to the major issues that influence his industry: workers’ compensation and Obamacare. “Particularly now with an industry and country facing so much regulation… we run a very compliant, close-knit operation,” he says. “I’ve had competitors go out of business because they didn’t pay their payroll taxes. Everything we do is crystal clean.”
To operate at such a standard in the staffing industry, Mark says, you need the unlimited ability to fund payroll. “In order to grow you have to have the capital and the financial resources to cover payroll.”
Ensuring that Action Staffing has such resources is one of Mark’s key responsibilities. “To me, the CEO is the central nervous system of the organization,” he says. “It’s my job to provide the vision, the goal, and the direction for the organization to have a path to follow.”