Best Cities Entrepreneurs

Temp Time

It was a client's call for help that inspired Kerry Townsend to start his own temporary help service in Minneapolis in 1994.

Townsend had spent 10 years in the temporary help industry, but when a former client appealed to him for assistance in staffing his company, Townsend realized he had what it took to make it on his own. Today, his company, Timely Temporaries, specializes in light industrial and secretarial job placement and has 16 employees of its own. It'll bring in a cool $1.1 million in sales this year, and next year, Townsend expects revenues to soar to $3.2 million.

Townsend credits his location for much of that success. "The low unemployment [in Minneapolis] means there's a lot of [temp] business going on here," says the 31-year-old entrepreneur. And the city's solid manufacturing base, strong financial services industries and large number of Fortune 1000 companies provide plenty of placement opportunities for Townsend's temporary workers.

Even the cold Minnesota winters are a bonus, Townsend claims. "In the winters, people want to go to work," he explains.

Financial factors aren't the only reason the native Minnesotan is glad to do business here; Townsend says "friendly people and a safe environment" also make the city a great place to have a business.

Still, Townsend believes his expertise will transfer well to any American city. That's why he recently completed a national franchise package, which should bring in sales that are anything but temporary.

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This article was originally published in the October 1996 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Best Cities Entrepreneurs.

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