The staffing industry is continuously growing and Express Employment Professionals, one of the top franchises in the U.S., is evolving its practices to keep pace. Meet the franchise owners in this blog and learn how to navigate your professional career in a growing industry and become successful franchise owners with Express.
Franchise Owner: Mike Nolfo
Territory: Parsippany, Fairfield, Bloomfield, Hackettstown, and Hawthorne, New Jersey
Years with Express: 19 years
What was your career prior to joining Express Employment Professionals? What industry/role were you in before owning an Express office?
- Mike: My parents were successful franchise owners at Express Employment Professionals, so I’ve always been involved in some capacity. However, I did take a step back from Express for a brief period right after college. I went to work for a bank in the commercial lending area and I was there for about three years. There was a moment in time when I thought I was on the path to becoming an accountant, but ultimately, I decided to come back to Express and take over my parents’ business as they neared retirement. I was fortunate enough to meet my wife while working at the bank, but overall, I think I made the right career move by taking over the family business!
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?
- Mike: Express Employment Professionals has really effective processes in place that accomplish their goal of helping as many people as possible to find good jobs, and that is why Express is one of the top franchises worldwide. Having parents who are successful franchise owners and growing up learning about Express, I’ve always been interested and attracted to the business. Since acquiring the family business, I’ve gone on to open several Express locations of my own. One of the aspects I most enjoy about the Express franchise business model is that you don’t need a whole lot of capital to produce ROI. Really, all you need are great employees. Additionally, one of the best parts about being an Express franchisee is being connected to the other franchisees. I enjoy the collaboration and camaraderie at Express and in general would say we have a strong culture that attracts top talent.
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?
- Mike: In this business, you’re making a real tangible impact. Every day we see someone coming in looking for work, and we all know what a tough time this can be in someone’s life. The fact that I’m able to help turn things around for someone by presenting them with new opportunities is incredibly rewarding. In fact, across our five franchise locations, we employ around 1,000 people per day. At Express, we love that feeling of helping people succeed, and if you enjoy helping people, this is the place to be. Helping someone find a job can be life-changing, and I’m so lucky to be able to do it every day.
How is the future of the business looking and how is the local landscape changing?
- Mike: The future of the business is very optimistic right now. We are looking at 20% growth this year in our franchises and we are forecasting similar growth in 2023. The local landscape in New Jersey is changing with a focus on remote work and job growth in the customer service, office/clerical, and accounting and finance fields. Manufacturing and distribution are not growing as quickly due to the lack of available labor in this area. As minimum wage continues to increase in New Jersey, companies are slowing increasing wages to stay competitive, but it is negatively impacting the overall growth of that business sector. Many manufacturing and distribution companies are slowly moving out of New Jersey to find lower waged employees in neighboring states, such as Pennsylvania.
What do you think sets Express Employment Professionals apart from other staffing agencies?
- Mike: The biggest difference between Express Employment Professionals and other staffing agencies is the fact that Express is both a local and national business. Local Express franchise owners have a giant international company behind them. Typically, there are big agencies that lack a local presence and local companies that don’t have national resources. At Express, it’s the best of both worlds. Additionally, Express is rapidly improving from a technology standpoint. We have new technology updates practically daily. Express has invested a lot into its technology the past three years, and it truly shows. For example, the entire onboarding process used to be so daunting, and now everything is remote and can simply be done electronically from home. Express has really been improving its processes to become more efficient, furthering why Express remains one of the top franchises in the U.S.
What do you believe has been the key to your success as a franchise owner?
- Mike: It’s all about who you hire. The people you hire and the talent around you are what will make you successful franchise owners. I also love the word grit. The whole business at Express Employment Professionals is about grit, staying the course and not giving up.
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?
- Mike: My advice to anyone considering franchise ownership, especially with Express Employment Professionals, is to hire great people. It’s less about you and more about them. This career is a hustle – you’re always moving around, so you have to be ready for that hustle. If you like to move and have a busy day, this is the right business for you. Know you’re approaching each day with some intensity, so you must have a plan and be strategic because you’re always on a mission to hit new goals each day. Investing in a staffing franchise like Express gives you an opportunity to make a true impact in your community. Working in staffing, you’re at the forefront of everything that is happening locally. You’re seeing the pulse of the economy before it’s on the news. You can feel a recession happening before it’s even here. Not only that, but staffing is a business that will always be relevant because there will always be people looking for jobs.
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.
- Mike: Express Employment Professionals is noticing that remote work is a big trend at the moment. It’s an interesting trend because it wasn’t really a thing in previous years, and now it’s very popular. We see a lot of companies moving towards hybrid schedules, especially in the professional staffing level. Many companies are still trying to navigate the in-office, hybrid, and remote structures, and some have figured it out, while others have not. It’s evolving as we speak.
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 2021 were $6,119,487. First-year offices averaged $900,049 according to Item 19 in the Franchise Disclosure Document. $185.5B industry revenue projection provided by SIA.