This article originally appeared on FranchiseBusinessReview.com.
It’s safe to say that Brock Wicker, a franchise owner with Spherion Staffing and Recruiting in Louisville, Kentucky, is a people-person. After earning a degree in business and marketing, he toured the country as a Club A PGA Golf Professional, which exposed him to the opportunity to network and mentor young assistants, interns, staff members, shop attendants, and even caddies. His mentoring experience would open the door to a tangential business opportunity when a current franchisee, Tom Pentenburg, introduced Brock to Spherion, one of the nation’s largest staffing franchisors. Tom is now his business partner in Brock’s home territory of Louisville.
“I have always been interested in staffing. Now, serving the Louisville community by providing local business owners and corporations with qualified staff members while also assisting both Kentucky and Indiana citizens with finding a job they enjoy is a very humbling experience,” said Brock.
A Lifelong Dream Fulfilled as a Spherion Franchise Owner
People arrive at franchise ownership from many different paths. Some simply got tired of being laid off by corporate America and wanted to take matters into their own hands for once. Others have always dreamed of one day owning a business of their own. For Brock, it was the latter.
“I always wanted to own my own business, and being able to do so in the state where my wife and I were born and raised is a dream come true. I chose the franchise avenue because it is less of a risk for a new business owner. Spherion offers excellent customer service support, training programs, a legal team, a designated SVP for every franchisee, a workers’ compensation team, safety teams, and more. They always have the best interest of the franchisee in mind, which was a big deciding factor in agreeing to become a part of the Spherion team,” he said.
It was a decision he didn’t take lightly, as he recalls peppering Spherion‘s VP of Development, Bill Tasillo, with a rapid-fire procession of questions. “I went through a new franchisee orientation process, and during this extensive process, I asked Bill a multitude of questions such as:
- What does your customer support team look like?
- What are the costs associated with royalties?
- What does it take to be a successful owner?
- Can I hear from other franchisees?
- What are the failure and success rates for your franchisees within the past 20 years?
- What sets Spherion apart from the other staffing companies?
- What does a typical day look like for a new and seasoned franchisee?”
In the end, Brock found Tasillo’s answers to be more than reassuring—and he took the business ownership plunge. He opened his Louisville location in June of 2022 and has since expanded to a second territory, claiming the Jeffersonville, Indiana, market in January of 2023.
Spherion offers excellent customer service support, training programs, a legal team, a designated SVP for every franchisee, a workers’ compensation team, safety teams, and more. They always have the best interest of the franchisee in mind, which was a big deciding factor in agreeing to become a part of the Spherion team.
Guidance and Growth—the Spherion Franchise Journey
Brock is quick to share a sentiment often mentioned in and around the franchising industry. Though he may be in business for himself, he never feels as if he’s in business by himself. That’s a credit to the comprehensive training and close-knit, ongoing support he receives from his corporate partners at Spherion.
“Spherion’s support system is fantastic. I don’t feel like I am by myself because I have a business partner, but also a designated senior vice president with years of experience in staffing who assists us with calls, leads, yearly budgets, achieving sales goals, and answering questions," he said.
"In addition, Spherion hosts a national award ceremony every spring. This is a formal event – one where they do a great job recognizing your successes within the company.”
Speaking of successes within the company, Brock should know. In 2023, while at this meeting, he was bestowed with Spherion’s prestigious “Rookie of the Year” award for his accomplishments as one of their newest franchisees.
You’d think that might be his proudest moment thus far in his early days as a franchise owner in the Spherion system. But Brock has a different take on the matter. “Being recognized as 2022’s Rookie of the Year at the Spherion National Meeting was an incredible honor, but I would have to say that I am most proud of the internal team I have around me. Everyone has bought into our customer service-focused, family-oriented culture and is willing to go to great lengths to make sure our client and employee needs are consistently met. As a business leader, I believe one is only as good as the team they have around them,” Brock said.
Spoken like the selfless business owner he is, a young man and a business owner who’s already ahead of his time and hungry for more.
What exactly does the future hold for this young go-getter? “We aspire to expand more into the state of Kentucky. Right now, we have a big territory that consists of three counties in Indiana and 13 in Kentucky. Our short-term expansion goals are to have four offices within the next three-to-five years. These office locations will all be near high industrial areas within our territory,” he said.
With a strategic plan as solid as Brock Wicker’s, it’s a safe bet that he’ll one day be receiving additional awards for performance on behalf of the brand.
For a guy who grew up wanting to own a business of his own, Brock Wicker feels lucky he found Spherion. As it turns out, the feeling is quite mutual. And both are better for it.