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ARCHIVED  January 1, 1996

AppleOne goes national

Apple One Employment Services launches its nationwide expansion in March, with plans to open 10 offices in the Great Lakes region during 1996.

The Fort Collins-based temporary and permanent employment agency envisions opening a similar number of offices during succeeding years, with plans to take the company public as revenues reach $50 million. That level of sales could come quickly. Apple One offices on average post revenues of $1.5 million to $3 million. Ten new offices at $1.5 million eachwould increase the company’s revenues by $15 million.

Apple One posted revenues of $17 million in 1995, with projected revenues of $22 million next year, not counting any new offices. As the company adds locations, revenues should balloon, Keith noted.

Apple One operates eight offices in Colorado, in downtown Denver, Westminster, Colorado Springs, Boulder, Longmont, Greeley, Loveland and Fort Collins.

Outside of Colorado, the company operates under different names because of an agreement with a separate company, Apple One Employment Service of Glendale, Calif. Keith’s company owns Cheyenne Temporary Services in Cheyenne, Wyo., and Provincial Staffing Services in Naperville, Ill. The Provincial name will be carried over into the nationwide expansion.

Initially, Keith will focus his attentions on the Great Lakes region of Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota, with plans to open up to 20 locations over three years. Five will open March 1, with another five Oct. 1. After completing its Great Lakes expansion, the company will fill in the Midwest — including Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky — and proceed to the Atlantic seaboard region of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Florida.

Provincial will target cities such as Lacrosse and Racine, Wisc., and Aurora and Champaign-Urbana, Ill. “The national players continue to shop the major markets, and there are blood-baths in those markets,” Keith said. Keith has defined several criteria that help determine whether he will enter a market. A market must:

n Display a positive population trend.

n Offer a work force of 40,000 to 50,000.

n Demonstrate stable or declining unemployment.

n Have a median age of 31 to 33.

n Not be a seasonal economy.

Keith also looks at per capita income, affordability, retail sales, consumer confidence, competition and site feasibility. He’s identified 261communities nationwide that meet his criteria.

Bruce Steinberg, spokesman for the National Association of Temporary Services, said he doesn’t necessarily agree with Keith’s strategy of entering smaller markets.

“Communities of that size are really be well-served at this stage,” Steinberg said. He added that Keith’s company is not a member of his association and might not be “all that aware of the industry trends.”

Still, he said, “There’s always room for another player.”

Keith said it’s not necessarily his intent to take over a market; he just wants a piece of it. “You don’t have to own the market share,” he said. “You don’t have to dominate.”

The temporary-employment market in 1994 boasted $35 billion in revenues, with average daily employment of 1.97 million, Steinberg said. About 6,000 to 7,000 temporary services run 16,000 to 17,000 offices nationwide. Those are numbers Keith knows well. He’s spent almost six years perfecting his strategy and acknowledges that he’s taking on an ambitious task.

“If you had told me five years ago that we would be an eight-branch Colorado company having potential to do $20 million in business, I’d have said that was pretty ambitious, too,” he said.

AppleOne made Inc. magazine’s list of the fastest-growing companies nationwide, finishing at No. 118. AppleOne’s revenues ballooned 1,565 percent from the year of its founding, 1990, to 1994. The company was the only one from Northern Colorado to make the list.

Keith envisions taking the company public within a couple of years, and AppleOne might eventually begin franchising its offices. Betty Becker, owner of On Call Employment Services Inc., said Keith’s plans, while interesting, shouldn’t affect the local market.

“Personally, I think that we have so much in our area that I would hate to try to dilute my company and try to reproduce it in another,” she said.

Apple One Employment Services launches its nationwide expansion in March, with plans to open 10 offices in the Great Lakes region during 1996.

The Fort Collins-based temporary and permanent employment agency envisions opening a similar number of offices during succeeding years, with plans to take the company public as revenues reach $50 million. That level of sales could come quickly. Apple One offices on average post revenues of $1.5 million to $3 million. Ten new offices at $1.5 million eachwould increase the company’s revenues by $15 million.

Apple One posted revenues of $17 million in 1995, with projected revenues of $22…

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