Sabbath & Edem Ekene Made the Leap from Employees to Spherion Franchise Owners

Sabbath and Edem Ekene, Spherion Franchise Owners since 2019

Sabbath and Edem are the proud owners of a Spherion Staffing & Recruiting franchise in League City, Texas, a location they’ve operated since 2019. This dynamic husband and wife duo originally fell in love with the staffing industry while working for Spherion’s parent company, Randstad. The couple always knew they were destined for an entrepreneurial life and leaned on their faith to help guide them through the investigative process. The Ekenes were duly impressed with Spherion’s level of care and support, and validation with the corporate office and existing franchisees helped seal the deal. Getting the word out in their community was challenging during the early days. However, Spherion’s one-on-one mentoring sessions played a significant role in helping them market their business and grow their clientele. Sabbath and Edem’s Spherion franchise is now thriving through perseverance and an unwavering belief in their abilities. Today, the former staffing and recruiting employees have eight employees of their own. The couple wishes this type of success upon anyone interested in owning a Spherion franchise.

Why did you purchase a Spherion franchise rather than start an independent business?

Originally, we were both employed by Spherion’s parent company, Randstad and fell in love with the staffing and recruiting industry. Having an entrepreneurial mindset, we decided to purchase a Spherion franchise because we were blessed to witness the level of support our corporate team exhibited throughout our early staffing years at Randstad. The brand has become part of our family for years and it was just a natural transition to become business owners ourselves.

Did you have your heart set on a specific industry or brand from the start?

Sabbath Ekene Spherion Franchise Owner
Sabbath Ekene

We both knew we’d one day own something we could call our own, but we didn’t know which industry it would be. God revealed to us that owning a staffing company would help us have a positive impact on our communities by providing great job placements for both our individual and commercial clients.

Of your prior skills and experiences, which were most helpful in launching and operating your new business?

Our parents, teachers, and mentors’ guidance over the years helped us become who we are today. More importantly, the skills we learned while working in our previous roles enhanced and influenced our level of professionalism and care. A special former employee of ours once told us, “Love what you do until you do what you love.”

When researching franchises to buy, what criteria mattered to you most?

That’s easy! When we did our research, support was our No. 1 priority. Every business owner needs support because owning a business can be difficult without the proper structure and guidance. Spherion’s corporate team supported us from the very beginning and has maintained its commitment to us on this journey. We are grateful for this.

Did you use FBR’s website or download franchisee satisfaction reports?

We didn’t use the FBR’s website before purchasing our franchise because we were already very familiar with Spherion. But we know the value of the FBR validation reports. They’re a great way to gain insight into organizations, and we highly recommend them.

Did you speak with other franchisees? Which questions did you ask?

Absolutely. To us, Spherion feels like a community, and we are like family to one another. So yes, we did speak with numerous Spherion franchise owners before we made our decision. If we could describe or summarize each conversation, we’d still use the word family. We felt encouraged after each conversation because the franchisees were so transparent. We had tough questions for each of them to address, such as, “What is the time commitment? Was it hard starting out? What resources are provided? How was year one?” And so on.

Which questions did you ask the franchisor?

We used the same set of questions during our validation with the franchisor. It was important to get an identical perspective from both the corporate office and the franchisees in their system.

What were your biggest challenges when you first started, and how did you overcome them?

When we first started, our biggest challenge was making our brand known to the community, as the Spherion brand was new to our market. We were able to hit the ground running and did a lot of grassroots marketing. We joined multiple chambers of commerce, attended several networking events, and, most importantly, made many meaningful connections in the community.

How does your franchise support and encourage your success?

Edem Ekene Spherion Franchise Owner
Edem Ekene

One standout example is how Spherion offers corporate mentors to its new franchises. We were assigned to a senior vice president, Lynn Billing, who helped us with anything we needed. Lynn was an intricate part of our success because she helped us strategically navigate through our first years of operation. Even during our toughest moments, Spherion’s corporate team could still support us to achieve our goals.

What are you most proud of as Spherion franchise owners and why?

We are most proud of our faith and perseverance. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. If you can press forward, regardless of what may come, you truly have something to be proud of.

What advice would you give to new or potential Spherion franchise buyers?

Our advice for others is never to give up, follow your heart, and achieve your dreams. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. If you have a deep desire to one day own a business of your own, you have to follow through, even if you’re afraid. Have your mentors and accountability partners in place. As for us, we draw upon our strengths as a married couple. We inspire each other to excellence every day. We hope you will also become the best version of yourself and be forgiving when you make mistakes.

To learn more about the Spherion Franchise Opportunity, visit Spherion.com/franchising, email [email protected], or call 951-587-6864.

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