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ROCS Staffing Founders Reveal How to Master a Niche Market

8/16/2011

Inc.

Brandon Labman and Tom Moore's staffing company, ROCS, thrives in its niche market, staffing entry-level jobs. Here's how ROCS says no to expansion but yes to growth.

As freshmen in college at George Mason University in 2003, Brandon Labman and Tom Moore's mutual part-time employer asked them to refer other students to fill some empty jobs. They did, and received glowing praise from their employer for the recommendations. The duo put two and two together, and started a staffing company called ROCS (Responsible Outgoing College Students). The idea was simple: Match students or recent college grads with employers looking for entry-level jobs. Today, ROCS is a go-to staffing company in the Washington, D.C., metro area, and has seen an 800 percent jump in revenue growth over the past three years. But the founders discovered an unlikely key to success in a niche market: knowing when to turn down opportunities. Labman and Moore talk with Inc.com's Nicole Carter about starting-up in an unfamiliar industry, being student entrepreneurs, and how they learned to say "no."

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