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When Stephanie Tyler learned how many employers used temporary help to satisfy their employment needs in the Los Angeles area, she decided to cash in on a growing trend.
In 1994, the 39-year-old former legal secretary and court reporter opened AllStaff Temporary Services, a $1.2 million company which places between 80-90 people a day on temporary assignments.
To get started, Tyler borrowed $40,000 from her retirement plan and credit cards, leased office space and furniture, and purchased office supplies (including three computers, a printer, telephones and word processing software). “It was overwhelming at first, but I wanted personal growth and to be my own boss,” says Tyler of her decision to become an entrepreneur.
Trying to stay visible among a sea of temporary placement firms was her biggest challenge. With a limited marketing budget, Tyler had to find creative and inexpensive ways to spread the word about AllStaff. She appeared on a morning radio talk show and attended meetings sponsored by local chambers of commerce and government offices.
After eight months in operation, Tyler obtained a $20,000 loan from the First AME Church in Los Angeles. In 1995, she borrowed $25,000 from the Community Financial Resource Center in Los Angeles to help increase her internal staff and launch sales and marketing promotions.
AllStaff, which currently has four employees, makes a wide variety of placements. In fact, diversity seems to account for much of the company’s success. The bulk of placements are clerical and secretarial, but AllStaff also makes computer, medical, switchboard and accounting assignments. Tyler has also dabbled in the entertainment field by supplying people to fill the live studio audiences of two television sitcoms, including Goode Behavior and the new late night talk show, Vibe. Observing the direction of the health care industry, Tyler anticipates moving into private duty nursing placement as well.
Tyler is undaunted by the competition. She insists that providing good personnel is the key to repeat business. To attract a high caliber staff, AllStaff offers benefits not afforded to most temporary employees, including health insurance, incentive bonuses, paid vacation and incremental pay raises. “We also do extensive recruiting, testing, pre-screening and training and perform background reference checks and evaluations on every applicant,” she says.
AllStaff Temporary Services, 4929 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 265, Los Angeles, CA 90010; 800-376-TEMP