Tim McClain, owner of Express Employment Professionals, which won the Pasco Economic Development Council's Small Business of the Year award for 2017, wanted a change after working in corporate America for 20 years so he did his research and decided he liked the franchise model.
"I enjoyed corporate America," he said. "I had a great time and learned a lot. After going through three mergers, I got to a point where I wanted to figure out something else to do and not be in the airport away from home as much as I was. I thought the franchise system was probably the smartest thing to do. In my due diligence, I developed enough faith in the principles and morals of Express that I would have worked at its corporate office. The first thing I learned as an entrepreneur is that no one sends you a check. You just write checks. I got involved in the community and that helped us survive the recession and continue to grow and expand to the point that we bought our own building last year."
Express Employment Professionals is a staffing franchise that helps people find jobs and companies fill positions.
"We help good people find great companies and great companies to find good people to work with them," McClain explained. "We give hope one job at a time and it goes both ways. We give hope to a business that can fill a position and help them meet their goals. We also give employees hope because if you are the breadwinner, unemployment can be one of the lowest points of your life. We're in the people matching business and productivity is what we sell to companies. We make it a win-win."
McClain's advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to be prepared to handle the financial and human implications of launching a business and employing others.
"It's definitely something you have to prepare for financially," he said. "It’s amazing how long it takes in certain industries to start turning a real profit. When you start paying other people and their livelihood depends on you, it's not something many people have experienced before. It takes time in most businesses to grow them. People do business with people they like and it takes time to get people to like you. A good relationship with client can help you through some tough times."