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Veteran Franchise Owner Shares What Led Him to the Staffing Industry

Successful Franchise Owner spotlight

Despite a labor shortage, the staffing industry isn’t going anywhere. Veteran franchisee highlights what encouraged him to join the staffing industry a number of years ago and offers advice on becoming a successful franchise owner with Express Employment Professionals, one of the top franchises in the U.S.

Franchise Owners: Reggie Kaji
Territory: Monroe, MI; Howell, MI; Dearborn, MI 
Years with Express: 7 years

What was your career prior to joining Express Employment Professionals? What industry/role were you in before owning an Express office? 

  • Reggie: Prior to owning my Express offices, I worked in the retail and restaurant industry for approximately 17 years. I acted as an owner and operator, just like I do now. Essentially, I had the same role as I do now, just in a different industry, so my past experience has really helped me with Express. 

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?

  • Reggie: I was referred to Express by a relative on the West Coast who was already working for the company. I was searching for a business that wouldn’t require me to work late nights and on the weekends like retail and restaurants often do. This is one of the reasons why I love being an Express Franchisee – I can have my cake and eat it, too. I’m able to work Monday through Friday with practically no weekend work required, and yet I’m still able to be a successful franchise owner.
  • The amount of experience Express has in the industry really attracted me to the business. I was a franchise business owner prior, just at a smaller level, so it was exciting to see the size of Express. The amount of support you get from Express Employment International and the overall company culture is wonderful and very important to me because a successful franchise starts at the top level, and that’s why Express is one of the top franchises worldwide. 

What do you find the most rewarding about being a successful franchise owner with Express Employment Professionals? What do you enjoy about the business and how is the work meaningful? 

  • Reggie: The biggest reward is the ability to have a business model that offers a ton of flexibility but is still full of opportunities to make a good living. Not only is it financially rewarding, but there’s a lot of room for growth, and I’m lucky to have been able to expand to three territories.
  • The work is also very meaningful. I’m a relationship person and this business allows me to build relationships with internal staff, customers, and other Franchisees. We’re like a family. Express has changed my wife and I’s lives, and I’m grateful to be able to constantly grow my network. 

How is the future of the business looking and how is the local landscape changing?

  • Reggie: Going into 2023, the overall business model is looking strong. Express Employment International has been helping us diversify over the past several years which has been very helpful in our growth and allows us to keep up with the current climate.
  • We’ve also pivoted so we can work pretty much anywhere, anytime, as long as we have internet and a phone. This has been a major change since COVID, which has allowed us to continue as a top franchise in the U.S.

What do you think sets Express Employment Professionals apart from other staffing agencies?

  • Reggie: I think one of the reason’s Express is one of the top franchises worldwide is its owner/operator model. A lot of our competitors are run by a branch manager in a national landscape and are publicly traded with a larger focus on numbers rather than people. We sell ourselves as a locally owned business and are dedicated to being involved in our community. We’re able to operate at a local level while still having national resources and support from headquarters, giving us national recognition.

What do you believe has been the key to your success as a franchise owner?

  • Reggie: People. Putting the right people around me has helped me become a successful franchise owner.  
  • I also think it’s important to follow the system. If you follow it, it works. The training, KPIs, and metrics Express gives you are practically bulletproof as long as you follow it. I knew nothing about staffing before Express, but I followed the system and put the work in and was able to become a successful franchise owner. We follow this same system year-over-year, adjusting as needed to keep up with the times.  

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? 

  • Reggie: Do your due diligence. Don’t just jump into it without knowing what you’re getting yourself into. Make sure whatever franchise you choose is right for you, your family, and your skillset.  
  • Research your franchise of interest. See who they are and what they’re all about. Get to know their executive leadership because it all starts at the top. 
  • As for staffing, I’ve been in franchising before, and staffing is a low-cost franchise that can be very rewarding. The market we’re in right now and the labor shortage we’re experiencing isn’t going away so even at weird times like the present, there’s still high demand. There’s also so much flexibility that you can still have strong work/life balance.

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.

  • Reggie: A lot of people have left the workforce, and a lot of people have retired early. Baby Boomers have been running the show for a while, but we’re coming into a different time and will see a shift in leadership. People are looking more for flexibility and balance. Those who are pivoting with the times will find the most success, as archaic practices are beginning to wither away. 

If you are interested in owning the #1 Staffing Franchise and discovering how successful you can be with Express, fill out the form below. 

*For territories open more than 24 months, average sales in 2022 were $6,497,275. First-year offices averaged $1,080,407 according to Item 19 in the Franchise Disclosure Document. $212.8B industry revenue projection provided by SIA.

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