All our Fundbox customers deserve kudos, but every year we like to recognize one particular company that really stands out. Please join us in congratulating AKHIRE, the Fundbox Small Business of the Year for 2019!
Putting Alaskans to Work
AKHIRE (pronounced “A K hire”) is a full-service staffing agency based in Juneau, Alaska. Founded in 2005, AKHIRE serves more than 20 industries, locally and throughout the state. Always free to job seekers, AKHIRE fills a critical role in quickly connecting businesses with the hard-to-find skilled people they need—for daily, seasonal, or permanent positions.
AKHIRE’s work is that much more important because Alaska suffers the highest unemployment rate in the U.S., currently at 6.2 percent (compared to the national average of 3.6 percent, the lowest level of unemployment in half a century).
Weathering the Ups and Downs
Seasonality plays a big part in AKHIRE’s business. Summer brings the most clients (such as seafood production, tourism, and shipping), yet winter boasts the largest contracts (primarily mining). These fluctuations in demand can create serious challenges for the agency.
“Clients don’t always pay in a speedy fashion,” notes Todd Saunders, CEO of AKHIRE. “They’re supposed to be on net 7 days, but people still don’t pay until about 45 or even 60 days out.” Their Fundbox line of credit helps AKHIRE smooth the rough patches between income cycles that might otherwise shake up a business.
A staffing firm is a cash-intensive operation. It requires you to cover the payroll, payroll taxes, and worker’s comp—both for the temp workers sent on contracts and your own employees. Even though AKHIRE might have to pay out $20K to $30K before the client actually pays, “You have to learn to live with the delay because you can’t scare off the client,” says Saunders.
The Fundbox Award and Its Rewards
Saunders appreciates the simplicity of Fundbox. The online dashboard’s interface is very straightforward, and future payment is clear.
To win this Small Business of the Year award, AKHIRE was selected from dozens of our best customers (submitted by our own Customer Service team), then narrowed down to six finalists, and finally judged by a diverse team of Fundbox employees.
While coincidental, the fact that AKHIRE is an employment agency really hit home with Fundbox. Our company CEO and founder, Eyal Shinar, was inspired to start Fundbox when his own mother’s local staffing firm struggled to stay afloat due to cash flow delays, despite having good revenues.
The Fundbox Small Business of the Year award is about more than just rewarding one of our valued clients. As Shinar points out, “This award is an inspiring exercise that’s part of our company culture, promoting an internal contest that gives all our employees an opportunity to learn more about our customers.”
Thanks to AKHIRE, Fundbox’s 2019 Small Business of the Year, now we (and the people of Alaska) are all winners.