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Why Thankful Companies are Successful Companies

handshake of businessmen. the concept of successful negotiations.

So how important is customer appreciation? As it turns out, it’s vital. According to a study by the Rockefeller Group, 82 percent of customers will leave because they think you do not care about them. It’s important to make each customer feel like they are your only customer, which could lead to word-of-mouth referrals, increasing your sales.

Customer Service is Key
Showing customers gratitude is a key part of the sales experience that usually determines whether or not the customer will return for future purchases. According to Help Scout, on average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase and it is six to seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one. This means that losing just one customer is costly, and it’s critical for businesses to put effort into making their customer experience top notch.

The good news for small businesses is that 80 percent of Americans agree that smaller companies place a bigger emphasis on customer service. And almost 9 out of 10 U.S. customers say they would pay more to ensure a superior customer service experience.

Investing in your company’s customer service may take some time to plan and implement, but in the long run, it will pay off. Not only will you create a culture of gratitude, but it can also positively affect the business’s bottom line.

Start from the Top Down
To retain your customers and attract new ones, build a culture of gratitude in your company from the top down. Most organizations struggle with this concept. In fact, according to a Gallup poll, 65 percent of employees say they don’t feel appreciated at work.

“Too many people leave work every day thinking, ‘My boss doesn’t appreciate me,’” said Liz Jazwiec, author of Eat That Cookie!: Make Workplace Positivity Pay Off … For Individuals, Teams and Organizations. “When the majority of the people in a workplace feel this way, the overall environment is hugely impacted. Productivity decreases, turnover increases, and it can become very difficult to stay afloat, especially in a tough economy.”

Gratitude in the C-Suite
When Doug Conant became the CEO of the Campbell Soup Company, the company’s stock price was declining and according to Fast Company, it was the worst performer of all the major food companies in the world.

Conant was in a serious car accident in 2009, and while recovering in the hospital, he received many get-well notes from employees around the word. Journalist Janice Kaplan included Conant’s story in her yearlong effort to learn about the effects of gratitude and how to show it more in her own life. While employees could have felt obligated to send well wishes to Conant, it’s likely that they were genuine as the CEO had sent more than 30,000 handwritten thank you notes to his employees during his tenure.

As an added bonus during the creation of a culture of gratitude, Campbell Soup jumped ahead of S&P Food Group and the S&P 500 in 2009, according to Fast Company.

Other leaders have also begun to recognize the importance of gratitude, including Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook. Zuckerberg challenged himself to write one thank you note every day in 2014, according to the Washington Post.

Even though not every business manager or owner has the time or resources to make big gestures, there are a lot of other small ways to show appreciation to your employees. One example is when an employee puts in a lot of overtime.

“You don’t have to apologize that they worked,” Kaplan said. “We understand that that’s sometimes part of the job. But recognizing it, saying thank you, letting them know that it wasn’t for naught really can go a very far way.”

Building a culture of gratitude can feel uncomfortable in the beginning, but it can mean the difference between the success or failure of a company. Start with small, daily acts of appreciation, and soon, gratitude will become second nature.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

This Thanksgiving at Express Employment Professionals, we are thankful for all of the owners and staff of our more than 770 franchise offices, including the ones that were added in 2016. We wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving with friends and family!

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Social Media: Where Should You Be?

Just as technology has revolutionized the way companies do business, social media is now a major part of marketing your company’s services. According to comScore, nearly 20% of total time spent online in the United States is on social media. Facebook alone accounts for 14% of total time spent online. Facebook’s platform has the largest audience with 1.1 billion monthly users.

With a multitude of social media platforms available, which one is best for your company?

For the best return on investment, start out by focusing on one social media platform before adding more. Create a strategy for that platform with measurable goals before venturing to other sites. For example, you could aim to increase sales by 10% over six months.

Take a look at the chart below which compares social media networks and weighs in on pros and cons.social

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Entrepreneurs: Where, Who, and What

Stepping out on your own as a business owner, whether it’s a start up or a franchise, is a big decision that comes with a lot of responsibilities. In fact, according to DealSunny.com, the average founder’s salary is less than $55,000 annually, and that’s with putting in roughly 66 hours of work per week!

But, don’t fear, because you are in good company. Dealsunny.com also found that there are currently more than 400 million entrepreneurs around the world, or one in every 18 people.

To learn more about entrepreneurship, take a look at the graphic below:

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Express Employment Professionals was named the 48th Largest Franchise Company in Worldwide Sales by Franchise Times and is continuing to add franchise offices in North America and South Africa! Learn how you can become an Express franchise owner today at ExpressFranchising.com.

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Setting Yourself Up for Success from the Start

Silhouettes of a teamMost people only get one shot to set up a business right, and often, it’s with limited income and employees. The shortage of revenue and staff can cause a great deal of stress, but there are several ways to actively combat the entrepreneurial stress that comes with a new venture. Here are three ways to get started:

  1. Delegate

Even if you enter into business ownership by yourself, you don’t have to do it all. Realizing this early on could prevent a lot of undue stress that could take a toll on your health and your career. Decide which tasks you need to personally oversee and which ones you could pass on to an employee. Since money can also be tight at the inception of a business, consider hiring part-time help until you can bring on more staff.

  1. Pick Up a Hobby

At the end of the day, it’s important to have an escape from the grind of the office. Try something creative like a painting class or relax with yoga. Giving your brain a break can spur new ideas for your office that can increase your bottom line.

  1. Work-life Balance

It’s easy to think that the more hours you work, the more business you will see. But that’s not always true, and it could easily lead to burnout. Set three to five goals for the year and evaluate your activities. If the activity doesn’t align with your goals, it’s ok to say no.

Even if you have been a business owner for several years, it’s never too late to practice these three methods to keep your business running smoothly.

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Express Employment Professionals was named the 48th Largest Franchise Company in Worldwide Sales by Franchise Times and is continuing to add franchise offices in North America and South Africa! Learn how you can become an Express franchise owner today at ExpressFranchising.com.

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How to Act Like an Entrepreneur—Even if You Aren’t

It takes a lot of courage, research, and preparation to step out on your own as a business owner. But you don’t actually have to leave your current job to start acting like an entrepreneur. By practicing these six ways to live like an entrepreneur, you could make the transition into business ownership sooner than you think!

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It’s never too early to think about goals for 2017, including joining a franchise that reached $3.02 billion in sales in 2015. Go to ExpressFranchising.com today to learn more!

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How to Build an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs come in many shapes and sizes with backgrounds and skill sets all over the board. There’s no one size fits all! But, according to research conducted by Duke University, there are some characteristics they share, such as what motivated them to start their own business.

Take a few minutes to study this infographic to see if you possess some of the same characteristics as your fellow entrepreneurs!

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Express Employment Professionals was named the 48th Largest Franchise Company in Worldwide Sales by Franchise Times and is continuing to add franchise offices in North America and South Africa! Learn how you can become an Express franchise owner today at ExpressFranchising.com.

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Co-workers Join Forces as Express Canadian Franchisees

Art Reid and Martin Braun-Labossiere (Winnipeg, Manitoba West – New)Work-life balance is important to Art Reid and Martin Braun-Labossiere, but it’s been tough to achieve for the pair at their current job. After working together for many years, the co-workers are proud to be the new owners of the Winnipeg, MB (West) office!

Background in Sales
Art worked his way through college at his family’s wholesale produce business, but was forced to drop out of the University of Winnipeg when the business shut down. He joined Sobeys in 1996 and was successful in various roles, including distribution, logistics, and operations.

Art took on a new role in 2013 as the national director of operations for National Tire Distributors, focusing on merging new acquisitions into the company. Last year, he took on a new role overseeing operations in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.

Martin graduated from the University of Manitoba with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in psychology. He has spent the majority of career in the tire and auto industry with a wide range of positions from inside sales to director of dealer affiliated programs. During his career, he also worked with his father in the security industry in sales and management.

Ready to Settle Down
Both men have had limited free time recently in their careers because of extensive travel and hope that Express franchise ownership will mean more time at home and more financial freedom.

During his time at Sobeys, Art chaired the Christmas Charity, organizing food drives, corporate and employee contributions, and the distributions of hampers to Winnipeg families in need. Martin has had a myriad of public speaking engagements throughout his career and continues to stay very active in everything from Tai Chi to karate and ballroom dancing.

“Art and Martin are drivers of success having been around sales and operations for most of their careers,” said Brook Wise, Regional Franchising Executive. “They have both reached a point in their lives where they are burnt out with corporate America and the extensive travel that they have to do as part of their current roles. They already have a leg up on the competition with their combined career experience and the fact that they have been clients of Express for a few years and know the benefits of using a staffing company.”

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Express Employment Professionals was named the 48th Largest Franchise Company in Worldwide Sales by Franchise Times and is continuing to add franchise offices in North America and South Africa! Learn how you can become and Express franchise owner today at ExpressFranchising.com.

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Keep Your Day Job—For Now

Businessman working with generic design notebook. Holding smartphone in handsWhen you find punching the clock from eight to five to be a chore, you may start daydreaming about being your own boss.  But your day job could actually be incredibly beneficial for when you are ready to step out on your own as a business owner.

Check out these three ways to make the most of your work week:

Learn New Skills

Starting a business from the ground up can be daunting and the rate of failure for those who are unprepared can be high. So why not make the most of your job while you have a steady paycheck and the resources to do it?

Ask your boss if you can try your hand at some new projects at work that will stretch your skill set and earn some leadership experience. Not only will you reap the benefits personally, but this is also a great chance to gain confidence as a leader.

Own Your Position

If you’ve been in the same position at work for a while, now is the time to spice things up. Take ownership of your job and take it to a new level.

Are there things that you have wanted to try that could be beneficial for the company? Now is the time to do it. Write down a list of everything that you can realistically change at work, and the practical solution for each problem. Once you create a timeline for your projects, get after it.

It’s very likely that your own business venture will have some of the same issues, so take this as a learning experience while you are surrounded by supportive resources and peers.

Networking

Entrepreneurs with sales backgrounds can be very successful, because every company needs clients to keep the doors open. While cold calls can certainly earn your business clients, warm leads are best, so start networking as soon as you can.

Making vital business connections in your community while you still have your day job can help make that first year as a business owner less stressful. Take advantage of local networking opportunities through the Chamber of Commerce or other organizations created for business professionals.

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Express Employment Professionals was named the 48th Largest Franchise Company in Worldwide Sales by Franchise Times and is continuing to add franchise offices in North America and South Africa! Learn how you can become and Express franchise owner today at ExpressFranchising.com.

 

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The Downsides of Inherited Leadership

Stylish employer

Stepping into a leadership position or management role for the first time is a major accomplishment, but it also comes with some big decisions. One of the most important decisions you will have to make is what kind of leadership style will define your career.

In large companies, it’s easy to fall victim to leadership inheritance, which is the tendency to adopt the leadership style that was used in the past. The problem is that it feels comfortable and causes your decisions to be instinctual, rather than intellectual.

Entrepreneurs have a better chance of avoiding leadership inheritance as they get to build their business from the ground up. But they can still fall into the trap of inherited leadership from previous jobs.

Below are four questions to ask yourself to challenge leadership inheritance:

1. What leadership style do I want to adopt?
If you’ve reached the leadership level, it usually means that you have an idea of what type of leader you want to be. Choose a leadership style that appeals to you and that could mean great success for the company.

2. What leadership style is suited to my talents?
Just because you like a certain leadership style doesn’t mean that it will work well with your skill set. Take time to evaluate your skills and see what leadership style will produce the best results.

3. What style will be effective in the situation?
While one leadership style may work for you, different situations may call for different styles. For instance, one employee may thrive under micromanagement while another may do best with a hands-off approach.

4. Will the style enhance or diminish objectives?
It is imperative that the leadership style you choose works for both you, personally, and the company. Here are some questions from Entrepreneur to help you answer question number four:
• Do my people need a lot of attention and feedback?
• Do I have specialized knowledge that my people will need to access?
• Are we customer-focused, safety-focused, quality-focused, efficiency focused, etc.?
• Do I lead people who effectively do what I did before?
• Do I set the vision or do I implement the vision?
• Are my people better matched with a particular leadership style?
• How does the work environment lend itself to one style over another?

Leadership styles can change over time, so be sure to evaluate your style several times throughout your career. This will create the best experience for your team and ultimately, your company.

Join Express
Express Employment Professionals was named the 48th Largest Franchise Company in Worldwide Sales by Franchise Times and is continuing to add franchise offices in North America and South Africa! Learn how you can become and Express franchise owner today at ExpressFranchising.com.

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