Ask successful entrepreneurs to list their start-up problems, and you'll probably hear things like "financing" or "location." Rarely do natural disasters figure into the equation. But that's exactly what Chris and Sonya Greenberg had to deal with when they launched their Express Personnel staffing franchise in Grand Forks, North Dakota, in 1997, shortly after a flood had devastated their town.
"Our home was filled with seven feet of water," recalls Sonya, 36. Add to that the fact she and her husband, Chris, 33, were due in Oklahoma for franchise training, and you can see that the couple faced more than the usual start-up hurdles.
Before becoming Express Personnel franchisees, Chris owned an insurance company and Sonya worked as an administrative assistant. The two wanted more interaction with people and with each other. They considered several staffing businesses and had narrowed their choice down to Express when the flood hit. Though they were tempted to move out, as many of their neighbors did, Sonya explains, "We chose to stay here because this is home and we wanted to help Grand Forks rebuild the community."
With most of the town evacuated due to the flood, many local businesses were understaffed, and the Greenbergs helped by locating employees for employers in need. Today, as the town continues to rebuild, the Greenbergs' business is growing steadily. More importantly, they realize their contribution is still helpful and appreciated.
Express Personnel is looking for franchisees nationwide; start-up costs begin at $80,000. For more details, call (800) 652-6400 or visit http://www.expresspersonnel.com.