Willie Fleischacker worked her way up the corporate ladder as a staffing coordinator in the health-care industry, yet felt something was missing in her career. "I've brought a lot of services to the communities I've worked in and made a lot of money for other people. I've always wanted to be able to [do this work] and say [the business] is mine," says Fleischacker, who owns two NurseFinders franchises in Des Moines and Davenport, Iowa, and plans to open two more locations in the state in 2000 and 2001.
Fleischacker originally joined her Des Moines NurseFinders office as an employee, but soon realized she wanted the then-company-owned location for herself. She purchased it in 1996, and has quickly grown her business into a $3 million enterprise with 11 office employees and 125 to 150 field caregivers on assignment.
Like most staffing business owners, Fleischacker divides much of her time between recruiting clients and employees, leaving much of the back-office paperwork, including payroll and billing receivables to the Arlington, Texas-based franchisor. "The receivables are funded by the company, so it's kind of like [having] a built-in banker," she says.
A franchisor backing you on the receivables end is, in fact, one of the major benefits of joining a staffing franchise. "When you're looking at specialized services, you're looking at very healthy pay rates, and it does become a cash-flow issue. Most staffing services bill [clients] on a monthly basis, but you pay [employees] on a weekly basis," explains Steinberg. "The franchisor makes sure you don't overheat and get into a bad cash-flow position."