What makes a successful staffing franchise owner? Read more in this blog about how a Franchisee and developer in Canada for Express Employment Professionals, the top franchise worldwide and in the U.S., identified his strength of serving people to grow with the business and build a rewarding career that impacts his community daily and why investing in Express is a valuable business opportunity.
Franchise Owners: Bradley Jenkins
Territory: Owns one location in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada and is a developer for several territories throughout Ontario
Years with Express: 13 years with Express and 10 years as a Franchisee
What was your career prior to joining Express Employment Professionals? What industry/role were you in before owning an Express office?
- Bradley: After a number of years in the tourism and hospitality industries working abroad, I saw a job posting on Monster.com in March 2010 and quickly began working as a staffing consultant in the Burlington Ontario Express franchise. I spent much of my time working with local jobseekers and companies, and after two years, I switched gears and focused on Skilled Trades recruitment which eventually led me to become a co-owner of the Burlington franchise in March 2013. Over the next few years, I helped grow the business to a level which had the Burlington office working with more than 200 people per week at more than 60 different companies in the Burlington and Oakville areas. Shortly thereafter, I realized that I was primed and ready for something bigger. In July 2016, an Express franchise opportunity became available, so I decided to purchase the Cambridge office, and I haven’t looked back since!
What attracted you to the franchise business model and Express Employment Professionals, specifically? And now that you are an Express Employment Professionals franchisee, what do you like about being part of that franchise business model?
- Bradley: I was ultimately attracted to the Express Employment Professionals franchise because I realized I was good at staffing and recruiting. Back in 2013, I didn’t know what the franchise business model was but after being in the business a while, I know what I know, and I really enjoy it which is why I’ve become a successful franchise owner. The business model has an established framework already in place and has allowed me to utilize my strengths of serving people.
- Owning your own business can be scary but franchising is a tried and tested model, especially with Express as one of the best franchises worldwide. If you bring gas and sweat into your day-to-day operations, Express can be used as the vehicle to properly run your own business. I truly believe that the Express franchise was set up so that we can have a huge impact on our community if we seek out the opportunity to do so. My own community in Cambridge is underserved by the staffing business which can be both a blessing and a curse. Some people have had negative experiences with staffing firms in the past, tainting their view of the business, but we try to encourage people that Express is different and strive really hard to showcase that through our work with jobseekers and companies.
What do you find the most rewarding about being a franchise owner with Express Employment Professionals? What do you enjoy about the business and how is the work meaningful?
- Bradley: During my time in Burlington in 2014, I worked with a man from the Caribbean who came to our Cambridge office and was in really bad shape. I managed to get him a job at an automotive supplier company and not only had to coach him a bit, but I also had to provide some additional support to get him on his feet. He ended up doing well and got hired by the company! We were so happy for him because at the end of the day, that’s why we do what we do. Two years later, he came back to visit us to let us know he was promoted to a supervisor role and was now able to do basic things to support himself and his family like go to the dentist, receive pension, and take care of his daughter. He said, “my life is finally on the right track, and I have Express to thank for that!” This experience was incredibly humbling and meaningful because we deal with so many people day-in and day-out so oftentimes we forget their stories, but they never forget us. It’s such a great reminder of how rewarding our careers are and that we have the chance to make an impact on someone’s life each and every day!
How is the future of the business looking and how is the local landscape changing?
- Bradley: Coming off the pandemic, we’re seeing a downturn. We haven’t had a bonified “recession” since 2008-2009. The economy drastically needed a reset and now we’ve been given the opportunity to do so. As part of the reset, I think people are not going to be as interested in working from home as they once were and feel as if the bloom is off the rose in that regard. We’re seeing that companies are starting to call people back to collaborate in-person, which we feel will be to our benefit in helping to place jobseekers in those roles and at those companies.
- With that said, we’ve seen a large increase in applicants since the start of the year. Lots of people are looking for work, so we are hopeful that will help companies who are drastically looking for people. Given this trend, we are certainly forecasting growth in 2023 but I have a feeling it will be a different year and I look forward to seeing how it all manifests itself.
What do you think sets Express Employment Professionals apart from other staffing agencies?
- Bradley: As an Express franchise owner, we’re essentially a local business with a large international brand behind it. In other words, we’re small enough to care and large enough to deal with anything thrown at us. It’s like going fishing in the same pond every day – we know where the fish are and we know where the weeds are, so we ultimately know where to work – whereas a lot of our competition goes fishing in large lakes. That, in and of itself, sets Express apart from its competitors and further cements it as a valuable investment opportunity for prospective Franchisees.
What do you believe has been the key to your success as a franchise owner?
- Bradley: When I hire my staff, there will always be two non-negotiables – 100% willingness and 100% honesty. As a franchise owner of Express, I can teach skills, but I can’t teach willingness and I can’t teach honesty. So, I do a lot of work on the front end to properly identify the right individuals for my team which has resulted in a really strong team and has enabled me to be a successful franchise owner.
What advice would you give someone else considering franchise ownership? And why do you think a staffing franchise is one of the best franchises to own?
- Bradley: There are a lot of franchise opportunities out there, but we can’t all be good at everything, so I think it’s important to do the necessary research beforehand. Not to mention, it’s a lot of work to be a franchise owner and even more so to be a successful franchise owner. If you are 110% willing to work and go the extra mile, then you should consider going into franchising. And if you have a work ethic and like to serve others, then you should consider going into franchising for the staffing industry. I really enjoy the Express Employment Professionals franchise system and appreciate knowing that Express, as the franchisor, will support me in areas where I may not necessarily be as strong, which is one of the many reasons why it is a top franchise.
Are there any emerging or existing employment trends that you find interesting and why? Tell us a bit more about how you see your Express location using this trend to its benefit, especially as it pertains to the market(s) in which your franchise(s) is/are located.
- Bradley: We must diversify in order to develop and grow by evolving our strategy. During the pandemic, our business did well because we worked with a lot of companies in warehouses, which were busy during that time. They relied so heavily on us for support and that was truly a silver lining to such a difficult time. Not only were we able to help those companies but we gleaned a new strategy for our business moving forward. So, if another pandemic comes along, we are well-equipped to be agile and diversify our business model regardless of whether the scenario is the same.
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*For territories open more than 24 months, average sales in 2022 were $6,497,275. For territories open more than 60 months, average sales in 2022 were $7,194,784. First-year offices averaged $1,080,407 annual sales according to Item 19 in the Franchise Disclosure Document. This statement is for information purposes only and is not intended as an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, a franchise. The following states regulate the offer and sale of franchises: California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. If you are a resident of one of these states, we will not offer you a franchise unless and until we have complied with applicable pre-sale registration and disclosure. MN Registration #F-1755.