Going into business ownership is an exciting venture, especially when you get to share that excitement with the ones you love. Molly and Joe Keebler are one pair redefining what it means to be a power couple in marriage and in business.
Together Longer Than They Were Apart
Married for 25 years and together for more than 30, Molly and Joe have been a couple longer than they’ve been apart. Molly owns Spherion Staffing in Asheville, North Carolina. Joe runs the office’s day-to-day operations. “We have a divide-and-conquer approach to business, but personally, we focus on one another,” Molly said. “We like working together because we trust each other and have honest conversations about the challenges and opportunities our business faces every day.”
“It is invaluable to have someone who is always on the same page with you and has the same level of commitment,” Joe continued. “Working with your own personal cheerleader is nice, too.”
A Love for Community and Staff
A key reason the couple was interested in Spherion was the love they felt from Spherion’s franchisee community. “We were able to reach out to several owners prior to purchasing our franchise. We were really impressed with the openness of the community and how family-oriented it felt,” Molly recalled.
That feeling of connection was important to the couple because Molly and Joe are very close with their staff. When they work on staff training and development, they emphasize professional advancement and growth whether it’s with Spherion or another company. “People can tell when you have their best interest in mind,” Joe said. “Staff development is one of the cornerstones of our office, and as a result, most of our team has worked with us for more than three years.”
Working Together Pays Off
Molly and Joe’s approach to going above and beyond for their staff has positively impacted their business and community. In addition to fulfilling Spherion’s mission of driving careers, growing businesses, and better the community they call home, Molly was the recipient of several of Spherion’s Franchise Community Awards, including the 2020 Spherion Owner of the Year, the 2020 President’s Award, and several other milestone growth recognitions.
“We were humbled by the awards, and proud. We worked really hard, and the best part for me was having my team to share that win with.” Molly said. “We had grown strategically, so it was nice to have that validation.”
On Facing Challenges Together
Of course, working together has its obstacles. Like many franchisees, 2021 brought on one of the most challenging business environments of their shared career. They had more business than they thought possible but struggled to completely meet their goals in such an employee-forward hiring market.
However, their management approach helped Molly and Joe maintain a positive work environment and a relaxing and loving personal life. Their 2021 business goals were to achieve 38% revenue growth and 36% gross profit. They finished the year at 29.5% revenue growth and 28.1% gross profit—healthy business numbers on any ledger and especially extraordinary considering the confluence of factors affecting labor markets in 2021.
“Despite outperforming our competitors across all key metrics, we couldn’t meet all of our clients’ staffing needs,” Joe explained. “But these challenges have made us stronger. We’ve reviewed our recruitment methods, and we're already making 2022 better than 2021.”
Advice for Other Couples in Business Together
On a personal level, Molly and Joe acknowledge that couples in business need to separate their roles. They recommend that other business couples divide the workload in a way that takes advantage of each other’s strengths. Let each person take the lead for responsibilities at which they excel. “The key to having a cohesive and collaborative relationship is to maintain a respectful work and personal relationship,” Molly said. “Sometimes, ‘liking’ your partner is more important than loving them.”
But the couple has a great deal to be proud of with their franchise. “We have influenced a lot of individuals through our business, specifically our staff. We have given our staff certain opportunities they may not have received in another organization,” says Joe. “They’ve really flourished professionally as they’ve taken on responsibilities they never thought they’d be given.”
Why They Love Working with Spherion
Beyond the reward of growing their office’s tight-knit community, Molly and Joe also agree that the financial rewards of going into business ownership together have been outstanding. After 25 years of marriage and other successful business ventures, franchising with Spherion has given them the right opportunity to “go bigger” and own their success. Running their Spherion office together has brought them even closer while challenging them to grow their professional skill sets.
“One of the things that we tell all potential owners is you do not have to be an expert in staffing to be successful at this. Other attributes you can bring to this business will propel you and make you successful.” says Molly, “The best business decision I made was to move to Asheville and open a Spherion franchise with Joe. I would do it again in a heartbeat.”
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can become a Spherion franchise owner and do what you love with the person you love, contact us today.