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‘I love what I do, even after two decades’

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In this Remedy franchise review, Jay Pichard shares how he chose the franchise opportunity, and what he’s learned

Stained block stamps spell out the words “love your work.”

When Jay Pichard first started researching franchise opportunities, staffing franchises were not an obvious choice. The former high-end medical device salesman started out — and many do — by exploring restaurant franchise opportunities, as well as oil change businesses. Then an advertisement caught his eye and changed his life.

“I saw an ad in the Wall Street Journal,” he says. “I didn’t know anything about human resources, but I liked the concept of getting people jobs and then capitalizing on getting people jobs. It just seemed like a really fun dynamic.”

Two decades later, Pichard now owns Remedy Intelligent Staffing franchises in Tallahassee, Panama City and Pensacola in Florida.

Here’s what attracted him to Remedy, his perspective on what you can expect as a staffing agency franchise owner, and what he sees as the keys to the success he’s enjoyed.

So, why did Remedy stand out from other concepts?
The finances were very attractive. The cost of opening up a restaurant ran anywhere from half a million to a million dollars, then you have to have opportunity capital to run it for at least two years before you can get into the black. The Remedy franchise model was really attractive. They offered a very competitive franchise fee, and then the ball was kind of in your court to try to figure out how successful you wanted to be. And we had a goal: I wanted to be in the black between six months and 12 months. The ball was in our court. We just hit it and worked our tails off.

What kind of operational support does Remedy offer?
The support Remedy gives is world class, from operations to marketing to risk management to human resources. They have experts in all of those fields. So, we didn’t have to reinvent the wheel. It was already there. We just followed the plan that was laid out and went down that path. We couldn’t be happier.

What was the path to growth that your business took?
We were able to generate substantial revenue my very first year in business. Our growth path was pretty fast. It came with a lot of hard work. When I started the process I wanted to do no fewer than 16 appointments a week, every week, for 52 weeks. We doubled almost every year for the first ten years. And then you get to a saturation number where you need to get back into the more realistic numbers of 8% to 10% growth, assuming you are working really hard.

Jay Pichard
Jay Pichard

What are some of the challenges of the business, and how did you overcome them?
A lot of the challenges in the business are because you are dealing with people. You are not selling a widget; you are not selling some kind of a device or a product. Our product is people, and people can be difficult. They can also be awesome. But you have to learn how to capitalize and manage and deal with all the ebbs and flows of a human being. But that’s also what makes it exceptionally fun.

What kind of person do you think it takes to succeed with Remedy?
You cannot be afraid of work. Everybody always says that, but I feel it is very important to be the face of my business — going out and talking to clients and saying, “Hey, the buck stops here with me.” And being able to get out and make connections and network everywhere you can.

With offices across so many markets, what does your management structure look like?
I have a branch manager in every one of my offices. Then I have a vice president of operations who they all report to. I am intimately involved in every aspect of my business. I visit every one of my markets at least once a week. Everybody has a direct line to me as well. It works for me, and that works for us.

How do you grow within each market?
Capturing market share is different in every market; each market has its own little individual nuances. Sometimes it just takes knocking on doors. I get involved with the chamber of commerce and join networking groups like the Kiwanis. A lot of the sales that I’ve done over the years have just been standing on the sidelines at my kids’ lacrosse or football or soccer games and just interacting with the other parents.

Where do you see your own business growing in the next five years?
After 20 years in business, I still love what I do and I still want to grow. I have a really aggressive goal of growing at least 15% a year. Five years from now, I would actually like to double where I’m at right now, because I’m still having fun doing it.

What would you say to somebody who is considering the opportunity?
First of all, you have to have a pretty high level of energy because it takes a lot. It is a people business. You have to be a mover and a shaker. You need to get out there and mix it up and get in the community and get involved, and get involved with your staff and your fellow team members.

What do you enjoy most about owning your business?
What I enjoy most about owning a Remedy franchise is the complete independence. I set my own hours. I can set various goals for whatever kind of income level I want to make. I just love the flexibility of coming and going as I please.

What was your goal for opening a Remedy franchise?
My goal for opening a Remedy franchise was literally a lifestyle. I didn’t want a job. I wanted an opportunity. You can make it what you want. It’s cliché, but you truly get out what you put into the work.

Is there anything that surprised you getting into the industry that you think people should be prepared for?
A lot of the surprises were how unpredictable human beings can be. But it is also part of the charm. Getting an individual a job and watching them succeed is an amazing experience. The flip side is, you are also dealing with human beings who can sometimes be a disappointment. But it is part of the game. It is part of our business. It is all about managing people.

If you’re getting into this business, you need to go in with eyes wide open. Expect the unexpected, because we are dealing with people. But honestly, I cannot see myself doing anything else. Had I gone into the restaurant industry, I think I would have been miserable. I love what I do, even after two decades.

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