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Behind the Scenes of Discovery Day at Express

DSchmidtiscovery Day is a big deal at Express Employment Professionals. It’s a chance for us to welcome possible members of the family to the Express International Headquarters in Oklahoma City and show them the expansive support team behind our franchisees.

Candidates are flown in groups to Oklahoma on a Thursday afternoon and treated to dinner to get to know David Lewis, Vice President of Franchising, their Franchising Director, and their Zone Vice President.

The next day, candidates are whisked to a big welcome reception at HQ before they have a meet-and-greet with the Express Executive Team.

The rest of the morning is filled with presentations before possibly making the life-changing decision to become an Express franchisee. These presentations include a tour of the building and support team information.

If there is time before the candidates return home, they might make the short drive to Express Ranches to meet the company’s ambassadors: The Express Clydesdales of Express Employment Professionals.

Discovery Day Award
In late January, the HQ employees had the honor of celebrating the awarding of the Westmoreland-Fayette County, PA, territory to Paula Schmidt! Paula was a Sales Representative in the Pittsburgh, PA (West), office for six years before she made the decision to own her own franchise. She also took on a business development role and trained a few Express franchisees.

“Paula is a driven, successful individual who will do whatever it takes to be successful,” said Brook Wise, Regional Franchising Director. “She performs consistently and certainly understands what it will take to be successful.”

In the Pittsburgh West office, Paula helped the franchise achieve Circle of Excellence for the past three years, including Bronze last year. The Circle of Excellence recognizes the top performing offices in the Express system of more than 750 locations.
She believes that being an Express franchisee herself will help her achieve her goals of helping develop her internal team, helping her clients grow, and helping good people find good jobs in her community.

Join Express
Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated more than $3.02 billion in temporary sales in 2015. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually. Visit ExpressFranchising.com for information on starting an Express Employment Professionals franchise.

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How Franchising Makes Business Ownership Easier

When a professional chef on a realty TV show is handed a half-dozen, random ingredients, it’s amazing to see how a truly gifted pro can whip up a winning dish in record time. For the rest of us, dinner would be a disaster without a recipe that shows how much of each ingredient we need, and the optimum time, temperature, and technique for cooking it.

This is a fitting analogy for people who want to run their own businesses. There are true entrepreneurs who are able to start completely from scratch and invent their business as they go. A few succeed, but lacking the right recipe for success, the majority of these entrepreneurial startups will fail in the first few years.

“That is why franchising is the answer for most people who have done well in the workplace and would like to run their own business,” notes David Lewis, vice president of franchising for Express Employment Professionals. “Franchises provide a time-tested recipe that offers a much higher chance of success for those who are willing to work hard and follow the plan.”

Not “Reinventing the Wheel”
“I once heard someone say that experience is an education only a fool desires,” David says. “Trying to establish your own policies and procedures that will lead to success can be a painful trip through the school of hard knocks.”

Express franchisees get the back office support, tools, and resources they need to prosper, including a dedicated corporate and field sales team.

“Imagine the cost of trying to replicate all of that experience on your own,” David explains. “Why would you try to reinvent 30+ years of proven success? On the other hand, those who follow the Express plan find they are following an exceptionally detailed blueprint to success.”

The Importance of Choosing Wisely
Not every franchisor offers an equal potential for success, so it is important to ask the right questions when evaluating franchise opportunities.

For example, Rocky Gill, an Express franchisee in Tyler, TX, is glad he weighed his options carefully when he was looking to run his own business 19 years ago. This year, Rocky expanded his Express business and added two new Texas territories. He credits his high level of success to the training and resources provided to all Express franchisees.

“I am the poster child for someone who follows the Express system, works hard, and experiences how well it works. It’s a proven system,” Rocky says. “I was a CPA working in a healthcare environment. Everything I learned about the staffing industry, I learned from Express, and 19 years later, it has been wonderful.”

So, what if you are the “lone wolf” entrepreneurial type who has to make your own rules?

“If you’ve not done well working in a corporate environment because you don’t want to follow a plan, franchising is not the right fit for you,” David notes. “But if you are willing to follow a well-worn path to success and reduce the risks associated with starting a business, this can be the best way to get started.”

Franchising 101 is a series of educational articles that provide important tips for anyone who is considering a franchise opportunity. For more information on Express Employment Professionals and the fast-growing staffing industry, visit ExpressFranchising.com.

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Discovery Day in a Big Way

EVE16ILC_ExpressDigest_BtnHere at Express International Headquarters, we can feel the excitement building as we prepare for our annual International Leadership Conference (ILC), which takes place in Dallas, Feb. 24 – 27.

Each year, the Express Employment Professionals family, including franchise owners, gathers for a big reunion that’s packed with inspirational speakers, dynamic learning sessions, and plenty of networking opportunities.

This year, ILC will feature former U.S. President George W. Bush, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard Carly Fiorina, and radio host Sean Hannity.

We are opening our doors on Friday morning, Feb. 26, for the next possible additions to the Express family as part of Discovery Day. Usually, Express gives a grand welcome to potential franchisees at the Express International Headquarters in Oklahoma City, but now we are taking it off site.

Our honored guests will arrive in Dallas on Thursday before attending the ILC general session Friday morning at 8 a.m. with speaker Carly Fiorina. In addition to her previous role at Hewett-Packard, Fiorina is pursuing the Republican nomination in the current presidential election.

Stand-Out Conference
Our theme for this year’s conference is Champions By Design, and we asked David Lewis, vice president of franchising, why this year’s event is drawing such strong interest.

“Express champions didn’t become winners by accident or luck,” David said. “They start with a desire, a dream, and a vision. Then they follow up with a strategic plan that is constantly evolving along with the current market and their target audience; they experience success by design. At ILC, every franchisee has the opportunity to learn how they do this and to be empowered to become the next generation of Express champions.”

A Five-Star Conference Review
What’s it like for a franchisee to attend ILC? Just ask Kim Guard, owner of the Express Employment Professionals office in Glendale-Burbank, CA.

“The first year I went to the Express International Leadership Conference, the entire trip was so memorable. I was a branch manager at the time and the first morning I walked into the general session I saw how big we truly are and my heart was full. Everyone was so welcoming,” Kim said. “The friends and family you gain by joining Express are unbelievable. You feel like you have the support of so many.”

Sign Up Today
The deadline to register for Discovery Day is Wednesday, Feb. 10, and the 10 available spots are going fast! Contact your franchising director to sign up today.

Express will covering expenses for Discovery Day guests, including hotel rooms, airfare for one guest, meals, and ground transportation.

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HR Expert Takes the Reins of the Express Office in Newport News, VA

CaryWith 20 years of experience as a human resources executive at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Chris Cary is uniquely suited for the staffing industry. He and his wife, Beth, will begin a new career as franchisees of the Express Employment Professionals office in Newport News, VA.

Experts in Business and HR Management
Chris started at PricewaterhouseCoopers 26 years ago as an auditor and tax manager. After six years, he made the transition to human resources. Most recently, he served as a human resource leader for the Washington D.C., metro market, leading a team of 35 people.

“Chris has a keen understanding of the staffing marketplace and the needs of area employers,” said Bill Thompson, Express Franchising Executive. “He is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and holds the highest HR certification, Senior Professional in Human Resources.”

“As an Express franchisee, Chris is excited to work closely with local businesses to understand their workforce needs and to provide the most qualified candidates in commercial, administrative, and professional positions for both short and long-term assignments,” Bill said. “Chris and his wife are excited about taking their expertise to the Newport News market in a franchise they can run together.

“Beth’s business experience in financial services includes working as a bank branch manager and as a loan consultant,” Bill said. “She is a member of the Association for Latino Professionals in Finance & Accounting and serves on the Northern VA Board. She also belongs to the National Association of Black Accountants.”

Beth has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, PA. Chris has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Allegheny College, in Meadville, PA.

Join our team
What about you? Is this the right time of life for you to join Express? The staffing industry is booming and Express has been named one of the fastest growing major staffing companies in the country. For more information on owning an Express franchise, visit ExpressFranchising.com.

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Express Employment Professionals Tops Entrepreneur Franchise 500 List

Ranked1inCategoryExpress Employment Professionals has been named the No. 1 staffing franchise for the fifth consecutive year in the U.S. by Entrepreneur Magazine as part of the magazine’s 37th annual Franchise 500® list. Express also ranked in the top 100 on the magazine’s Top Global Franchises list in America, achieving a ranking of No. 70.

“We’re proud to be consistently recognized as a leader not only in the staffing industry, but also in the franchising industry,” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. “Being ranked the #1 staffing franchise in North America for five straight years is an amazing accomplishment.”

The rankings are based on financial strength and stability, growth rate and the number of years a company has been in business.

Express was also named the 90th fastest growing franchise system in the U.S. and Canada by Entrepreneur.

“The staffing company is on track to reach 800 franchises in 2016,” said David Lewis, vice president of franchising.

“The growth we’ve experienced this year is really exciting,” Funk said. “We get to be a part of people achieving their financial and personal dreams by becoming business owners. As the need for staffing services continues to rise, Express is expanding to meet that need, which will help us reach our long-term goal of putting a million people to work annually.”

About Robert A. “Bob” Funk

Robert A. “Bob” Funk is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Under his leadership, Express has put more than six million people to work worldwide. Funk served as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and was also the Chairman of the Conference of Chairmen of the Federal Reserve.

About Express Employment Professionals

Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated more than $2.85 billion in temporary sales and employed nearly 456,000 people in 2014. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually. Visit ExpressFranchising.com for information on starting an Express Employment Professionals franchise.

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Selecting the Right Franchise: 5 Things You Shouldn’t Ignore

Considering buying a franchise, but don’t know what to start. You’re in luck. Express is launching a Franchising 101 series of educational articles in 2015 that provide important tips for anyone who is considering buying a franchise, no matter what type of industry. Our first article in the series is “Selecting the Right Franchise: 5 Things You Shouldn’t Ignore.”

So you’ve decided you want to run your own business, and you want to choose a franchise that’s the right fit for your skill set, finances, and lifestyle. With more than 3,000 franchise systems available in the U.S. and Canada, where do you start?

The annual Franchise 500 list compiled by Entrepreneur magazine is a great start. This expert resource provides a concise profile of each franchise, with valuable information presented on the number of franchise units, start-up costs, franchisor support and ranking history. Express Employment Professionals is honored to be featured at #66 overall for 2015, and #1 in the staffing industry for the past four years!

How do you make a wise selection from this or any other list? Here are five important considerations you can’t ignore:

1. What’s in a name?
“When they first start out, people tend to immediately gravitate to the famous brands they know as consumers,” said Davis Lewis, vice president of franchising for Express Employment Professionals. “Then they are disappointed to learn that the fees for such high profile businesses may be out of reach, or discover that the limited territories still available are not anywhere they want to live.”

Instead, it’s important to focus on what’s important to you and then explore the highly rated opportunities that are available.

“For example, if you want to live in a certain location, focus on opportunities available for that region,” David notes. “Most people find the best opportunities are businesses they have not heard of before, because there is no franchise in their town. That’s often a golden opportunity.”

2. What Are Your Key Motivators?
Consider exactly why you want to own a franchise.
“I recommend listing your top three motivators, then narrowing down the list of franchises that align well with the reasons you want to own a franchise,” David suggests. “If having weekends off to spend time with family is important, there are some franchises that would not be ideal for you. Do you want to work an eight to five day, or do you prefer different hours that appeal to your lifestyle? Finding the right lifestyle fit is important for personal and business success.”

3. How Much Capital Do You Have to Invest?
“This may sound easy, but there are some questions you must ask to make sure you don’t get in over your head,” David said. “If it costs $50,000 for a franchise, and you have $65,000, that may sound perfect. But, ask the franchisor how much you will actually need to invest before you become profitable. If it takes another $150,000, do you have access to that funding? Would taking out a loan for that amount be comfortable within your personal level of risk tolerance? You want to consider all financial costs before you make a decision.”

4. What’s the Size of Your Territory?
“This is a question you cannot ignore, because it can vary greatly between franchises,” David says. “Is your franchise limited to a square mile? A single town? Does it cover a region or half of a state? It’s essential to know up front how you can grow your business over time.”

5. Can You Be Happy in the Franchisor’s Culture?
“Some people mistakenly believe that this is only important if you are looking at working at a daily job for a company, but it’s even more important if you choose to own a franchise,” David notes. “This is a larger commitment. Choosing a franchise is like choosing a business partner. You want a business partner you’ll be happy to work with for the next 10 years, or longer. If the culture does not feel in alignment, it’s not the franchise for you.”

For more information on Express Employment Professionals and the fast-growing staffing industry, visit ExpressFranchising.com and keep watching for the Franchising 101 series on our blog.

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Financial Analyst Finds Sense of Purpose as Express Franchisee in Lakewood, OH

WilliamsonMark Williamson had a great career in accounting and finance, but he felt called to do more. He
had a strong desire to build a business with a sense of purpose in helping others, while leaving room in his life for family time and his passion for dog rescue.

Mark found exactly what he was looking for as a franchisee for Express Employment Professionals. He and his wife, Beth, took over as owners of the Express office in Lakewood, OH.

A Forecast for Success
Mark earned his master’s degree in accounting from Gardner-Webb University. His business experience includes working as a land management accountant at American Forecast Management, and as a financial analyst for DP World in Dubai. Most recently he served as financial analyst at the J.M. Smucker Company, in the Natural Foods Division.

“When Mark began looking to start his own business, he didn’t have to look far for a smart business model that appealed to him,” said Bill Thompson, Express Franchising Executive. “His wife’s brother, Chad Grude, is a successful Express franchisee in Lorain, OH, and Beth had started working in Chad’s office earlier this year as a staffing consultant.

“Mark saw the excellent home office support Express provides for his brother-in-law’s business, and realized how the Express system made it easy for franchisees to forecast and implement their success,” Bill said. “Mark is looking forward to serving employers and job seekers in the Lakewood, Ohio, region, and he loves the Express culture of caring, which encourages franchisees to devote time to family and community.”

All in the Family

Being closer to family is what drew the Williamsons to move from their prior home in North Carolina to Lakewood, OH. Beth has a large family in the region, including 19 nieces and nephews. And she hopes to one day help her husband run the Lakewood office.

Beth has a bachelor’s degree in business from Lorain Community College and Youngstown State University. Before working in the Lorain office, she worked as an account manager for Generation Brands and as a planogram specialist at Lowe’s Companies, Inc.

A Passion for Animals
Both Mark and Beth love animals and have a heart for rescue missions. They have fostered more than 15 dogs, keeping each until the dog found a permanent home.

The Williamsons, who have been married for four years, look forward to connecting with other animal lovers in the Lakewood area.

Join Our Team
It’s a great time to join Express! The staffing industry is booming and Express has been named one of the fastest growing major staffing companies in the country. For more information on owning an Express franchise, visit ExpressFranchising.com.

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