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Franchise Players: A Temp Works Her Way to the Top When Renee Rodriquez started as a temp at Express Employment Professionals, she never expected she'd someday become a franchisee herself.

By Kate Taylor

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Franchise Players is Entrepreneur's Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. If you're a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email ktaylor@entrepreneur.com.

After graduating from the University of Southern Colorado, Renee Rodriquez turned to a local Express Employment Professionals franchise office for a temporary job until she could find permanent employment. However, the local Express owners realized there was something special about the temp and decided to hire her for their own office. Five years later, the franchise owners asked Rodriquez if she would like to be a partner in the business. Five years after that, once the original owners decided to sell, she became majority partner.

Today, Rodriquez has been working with Express Employment for over 25 years. Here's what she has learned over the years.

Name: Renee Rodriquez

Franchise owned (location): Express Employment Professionals in Pueblo and Centennial, Colo.

How long have you owned a franchise?

I purchased the Pueblo franchise in 2007 and the Centennial franchise in 2008

Related: Franchise Players: My 5 Tips for Potential Franchisees

Why franchising?

The systems that Express has developed are phenomenal and it allows the franchisee to simply focus on the services. It is always a great day when you know you have Express standing shoulder to shoulder with you, while you help people and their families.

What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?

I started with Express when I was 22 years old. I was attending the University of Southern Colorado and working at a local restaurant and a local television station. In addition, I was busy raising two young boys.

Why did you choose this particular franchise?

I met the owner of the local Express office at the Pueblo Chamber of Commerce while I was completing a collegiate internship. I applied with the Express office after my internship was complete and they sent me on three temporary assignments. I was working my third assignment when the owner called and offered me an opportunity working for the local Express franchise. I agreed to work as the Front Office Coordinator and after five years I was allowed the opportunity to work every position. I was further blessed with the opportunity to buy shares in our office. We became partners and through persistence became the majority owner in 2007.

How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?

We were a resale office

Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?

I had an advantage of being involved with Express for 26 years. I cannot imagine doing anything else with my professional career.

Related: Franchise Players: From Selling Clothes Out of a Basement to Opening a Brick-and-Mortar Store

What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?

The biggest challenge is that we opened during a recession. However, a few years later we are achieving higher levels of success than prior to the recession.

What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?

I would recommend jumping in with both feet and always focus on what an incredible opportunity you have to impact the lives of our associates and help our client companies.

What's next for you and your business?

We are hopeful to continue our growth with Express and purchase another Express office in 2014.

Related: Franchise Players: How I Bought an Embroidery Franchise at 21

Kate Taylor


Kate Taylor is a reporter at Business Insider. She was previously a reporter at Entrepreneur. Get in touch with tips and feedback on Twitter at @Kate_H_Taylor. 

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