Founder and CEO
Reducing the amount of time required to manage HR processes like payroll and benefits administration.
Trusting their HR to the experts at TriNet allows mcSquares to scale, access attractive benefits and have confidence that employment-related compliance is met.
As a kid, Anthony Franco considered himself a wallflower. Now, the highly esteemed serial entrepreneur, successful “Shark Tank” TV show contestant and founder of mcSquares is passionate about ensuring that everyone can speak up and have their voice heard.
The concept for mcSquares was born after Anthony realized that, all too frequently, groundbreaking ideas were left on the table in professional workshops and environments for one key reason. “I set out to solve what I call ‘The Introvert Problem’—the people with the best ideas were quiet and cerebral and therefore weren’t going to share them in those kinds of meetings,” said Anthony. To overcome this dilemma, he would carve a whiteboard into smaller pieces, distribute those to participants and suddenly, the session lit up like magic. The introverts now had a vehicle to share their valuable contributions in a collaborative environment. This concept evolved to become mcSquares’ first product line—the mcSquares Tablet. Another popular ecofriendly mcSquares product, Stickies, aims to replace paper stickie notes with erasable whiteboard notes that can be reused thousands of times.
mcSquares’ mission is to help people conquer their chaos and bring clarity into their lives. “When you’re using dry-erase products, that’s what you’re trying to do—contextualize things, focus on certain areas, help clear the distraction and noise from your life,” said Anthony. “We’ve innovated in a space that hasn’t had any innovation in the last 100 years by making all kinds of fun, unique, portable, dry-erase boards and markers.”
Following the airing of “Shark Tank,” a critically acclaimed reality show that has revitalized entrepreneurism, mcSquares was joyfully prepared to experience a large spike in revenue. The exposure from the TV show also resulted in a significant amount of sales channel opportunities with larger entities that will sustain revenue growth. “The validation has been phenomenal, but for the business, it’s surpassed our expectations,” said Anthony. mcSquares struck a $300,000 deal with “Shark Tank” investor Kevin O’Leary for a 25% stake.
The Denver-based manufacturer previously managed their HR functions with an internal controller and an administrative services organization that didn’t sponsor or offer any healthcare benefits to their employees. As a result, mcSquares had to sponsor their own small group plan and take on the considerable benefits administration responsibilities. “As we're growing and looking to hire more people, that group plan became more and more unsustainable,” said Ian McConville, Director of Operations at mcSquares. “We wanted to be able to attract and retain good talent at costs that made sense and could help us grow.”
TriNet came highly recommended by one of their angel investing groups which spurred an analysis of multiple PEO (professional employment organization) options. “TriNet came out on customer service; the amount of support they gave us in the phase of getting started on the platform and the continuing support have been really impressive,” said Ian. mcSquares’ HR consultants at TriNet continuously help Ian with employee relations issues such as promotions, retention tactics, new workplace policies and the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s super nice to have somebody that has our back and makes sure that we're following all the regulations that are coming out, that we are providing our employees with all the right information and that we keep them as safe as possible,” said Ian.
With TriNet, they’re able to offer a range of premium level benefits to their employees that fit their individual financial and life situations. “From an employee attraction and retention standpoint, it's been a game changer for us,” said Ian.
The small yet growing team at mcSquares appreciates the comprehensive and easy-to-use TriNet technology platform, including the ability to see and compare pay details. “The platform is exhaustive, which I love as a numbers and operations guy, but also allows us to drill down and figure out where we need to quickly find things,” said Ian. “The foundation is there as we are defining more and more of a standardized hiring and training process.” The TriNet platform provides support across the entire employee lifecycle, including recruiting, onboarding, development and performance management.
HR isn’t Ian’s only responsibility. His charter includes managing functions ranging from production and shipping, to supply chain logistics and more. “With TriNet, we have to think a lot less and worry a lot less about HR, payroll and benefits,” said Anthony. “It’s made Ian’s life a lot easier which essentially makes our entire company more productive.”
“TriNet has changed the game in how we recruit and retain talent, has made it simpler to manage payroll and added hours back to my plate,” said Ian.
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