Rick Anderson, Fairmont and Morgantown, West Virginia
After spending 30 years in the restaurant industry—including various chains like Shoney’s, Taco Bell, and Kentucky Fried Chicken—I decided it was time for me to leave the corporate world and open my own restaurant in Durham, N.C. I’d started my career as a breakfast cook, and my last position had been Director of Operations. So I thought having my own business would be a piece of cake. Little did I know what was ahead of me: The Great Recession.
I would travel weekly from West Virginia to North Carolina to work in my restaurant, which I operated for two years. At night, I kept busy cleaning and organizing, and wondering how the recession would affect my business. One night I was mopping the floor and I noticed this brown paper, in an upright stand, called Coffee News®. I picked one up and started reading it, and looked at all the ads. I thought, “Wow, this Coffee News® is cool. It’s a fun read.” The Horoscopes were right on, and the Trivia was fun. I put it back and finished my work.
The next day, on my six-hour drive back to West Virginia, I couldn’t get that little paper out of my mind. So I called the phone number and talked with the franchisee. Then when I got home, I went to the website. After a few days, I called Bill Buckley, and even called a few other franchise locations. I got nothing but positive feedback. I decided to it was time to quit my 60-hour work weeks and get entirely out of the restaurant business.
I bought my first Coffee News® franchise in Morgantown, West Virginia, in 2009. Starting out was scary but fun. I’m a cold-calling type of guy. I believe in STP—See The People—and grinding to get the sale. I do believe in networking and social media, which I do as well. But the greatest feeling is walking into a business, talking about what Coffee News® can do for them, and walking out with a nice check.
When starting out, the other side of the coin is setting up the distribution locations, which I find the most important step in starting your franchise. I continue to look for more locations and tweak some of my slower ones.
In April 2015, I started my second franchise location in Fairmont, W.Va. No matter what, it beats mopping floors and working 60-hour weeks.
Here are some points I think have been keys to my success:
- Sell from the heart, and believe in what you sell. You have a product that every business needs.
- Have fun and be positive every day.
- Set monthly and yearly sales projections.
- Take time to visit your advertisers after the sale. When I’m out prospecting, one of the things I always say is, “I’m not here to just sell you an ad. I’m here to help your business grow.”
- Accept the word “No.” I think I learned more from the times when I didn’t get the sale. Failure fuels success. It helped me determine what I did wrong, and to improve by learning what I could do right on the next call. In some cases, I went back to visit a customer who’d said, “No,” and turned it into a “Yes” simply because some other types of advertising weren’t working for the customer. So they gave me a try.