The Community and Flexibility of Being a Franchisee

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JenClarkJen Kline Clark of Bucks County, Pennsylvania

For Jen Kline Clark “” are what she enjoys most about her Coffee News business.

Clark has been in the Coffee News business since 2012.   At that time she and her husband, Patrick had just completed the process of adopting their first baby.

After working in a highly demanding career that required her to travel extensively, Clark said, “We wanted to find something that would allow me to stay home with my son who we waited so long for and I wanted to be part of my community.”

Coffee News wasn’t even on their radar until Patrick met a Coffee News publisher at a baseball game who was selling his business.

Clark recalls, “Patrick came home and told me about this.   It was a perfect match for what I like to do and could provide us with a consistent income.”

Today Clark owns four Coffee News franchises and publishes three editions in Bucks County, Pennsylvania – just North of Philadelphia.

Eighteen months ago Jen and Patrick welcomed a baby girl to their family of three!

“I’m very happy doing what I do.   I love the flexibility of this business as a parent. I was actually doing layouts for an edition while in the hospital when I had my daughter. ” Clark said.

In addition to the flexibility that Coffee News affords her family, Clark enjoys the connections she has made in her community as a result of her business. “I think of my Coffee News business as a way to help small businesses in my community get the word out about their business.”

Building community is what Clark is all about.   When talking about what it takes to be successful in the Coffee News business she stresses the importance of networking and bringing people together.

“You have to network the heck out of this business. In my first year my goal was to attend three new networking events a week.   That really helped to build my business and my networks. I know so many people now,” says Clark.

She adds that over time she has built a Coffee News family and even plans events to bring people together.   “It’s a great way to network and have fun. People really feel like they are part of something.”

Although Clark has a strong base of long term advertisers, some of whom have been with her since the beginning. She stresses that, “To be successful in this business you have to constantly be generating new business and bringing in new advertisers.”

For Clark, bartering has been a great way to introduce the benefits of Coffee News to businesses. She cites an example of losing their furnace after Hurricane Sandy and bartering Coffee News ads to buy a new one.

“My businesses like to advertise in Coffee News because of the affordability and exclusivity.   They like the one page easy-to-read format and I make changes to their ads at no extra cost to them.”

Clark stressed that although there is a lot of flexibility in this business – it is a full-time job.

She says, “There are a lot of moving parts and pieces including taking care of your advertisers and cultivating new ones. There is publishing and distribution and the day to day tasks of managing a business.”

“I do love it. Coffee News has been a great thing for this period in our lives,” she added.

Clark offers these tips to be successful in the Coffee News business:

  1. Have enough working capital to cover your expenses in the beginning while you’re building your business.
  2. Hire a bookkeeper and have a good CRM (customer relationship management) program to keep you organized!
  3. Get out there and NETWORK!   Build your connections and your community.

Where She Wants to Be!

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2016-03-31 19.14.01Sheila Jimenez is back home, and that’s exactly where she wants to be. After fifteen years in Chicago, she returned to Winamac, Indiana, population 2,490 (U.S. Census, 2010). Only a handful of Indiana’s 92 counties have a smaller population than Pulaski, where the county seat of Winamac boasts three stoplights.

When Sheila was among the hundred or so annual graduates of Winamac High School, she never dreamed that one day she’d be selling Coffee News ads to fellow alumni. But since February 1, 2016, she’s been doing exactly that. “There are a lot of people I went to high school with who now own their own businesses in Winamac. Surprisingly, people that I do know are the hardest to sell.” But she doesn’t let that bother her. “I think most of it is just waiting to see if it’s going to stick before they invest in it.” Her franchise is very new, after all. She published her first issue on February 27.

Her ten-year-old son attends the same school that Sheila did. Having lived in Chicago for nine years, he can’t believe that everybody knows his mom. His teacher is one of Sheila’s high school classmates.

Both her mother and her son have been helping in her new business. “I’ll have him hop out and help me do deliveries,” she says, “trying to show him to be responsible. He thinks I’m the worst mom ever.” But Sheila used to think the same thing when she was a kid. “He’ll appreciate it at some point,” she laughs.

She comes from an entrepreneurial family, and that was good training to be a Coffee News franchisee. “I know small businesses and that’s where I think I have my niche. I get what they need and what they want. I speak their language.” For twelve years she worked in succession of businesses owned by her father. “He’s had everything from a gas station to a sports bar to a pizza place, wholesale company, liquor importer. One always led to the next.”

But for all of her small business background, she had no prior sales experience. “I don’t think I know what I’m doing, but it’s working out,” she says. When she took over, the edition had no ads, just filler. For her first cold call, she says, “I kind of pumped myself up in the car, took five big breaths, and walked in. I did my spiel, waited the eight seconds. The minute I was about to open my mouth, they said, ‘OK, we’ll take a year and we’ll pay in full.’ Thank goodness I didn’t open my mouth!

“You know that feeling when you almost hit something in your car, or being in a roller coaster? That was the feeling I had in my stomach. Thank goodness that was my first sales experience, to know that this works, to go into someplace else and to have the confidence.” Since then, she’s had no problem selling ads. “It’s just about being local and promoting local businesses to build back up our community.” As of early March, she’d sold ten.

The small town of Winamac was impacted by the recession, but it’s starting to come back. A theme park called Rugged Adventures will open in April. They’ve bought an ad, and so have a gas station chain, a plumbing-heating-cooling business, a direct marketing company, the local hardware store, and a crop services company that sells fertilizer. “We’re in farmland,” Sheila explains.

Winamac also is home to the international headquarters of Braun Corporation, which employs 900 people building wheelchair lifts for vans. “It’s definitely a generating force of income in the area,” she says.

Businesses in small towns can have difficulty staying afloat. Sheila considers Coffee News a great avenue for them, and wants to help them so they can generate more business. She never would have considered a Coffee News franchise in Chicago. But back in Winamac? “I’ve always wanted to own my own business. After doing this for a few weeks, I feel like I was born to do this.”

And here at home, she’s made great start.


How One Family Turned a Franchise Into a Family-Run Business

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Coffee News® Profile – The Sutter Family of Suwanee, Georgia (USA)sutter family

Michelle and Rick Sutter of Suwanee, Georgia were looking for a business opportunity.

They decided they would open up a bookstore and café.   While they were in the process of making that dream a reality, they happened to spot an edition of Coffee News® in a restaurant.

“We were so impressed and intrigued with Coffee News® that we decided to explore it further. We realized that operating the café would be a 24/7 job and require a large investment of capital to make it work.   That led us to make the decision to launch a Coffee News® franchise instead of the bookstore and café,” Michelle said.

Rick added, “Franchises are great because a lot of the work has been done for you. It’s much less painful than trying to invent something from scratch. Coffee News® has a strong, recognizable brand and an excellent reputation.”

“Coffee News® was attractive to us due to the low start-up cost and overhead and the flexible nature of the business.   We liked the idea of starting a business that our kids could do with us,” Michelle said.

“Times are changing and there is no more job security in corporate America.   We wanted a business that we could do on our own and control our own future. We wanted to show our kids how to take control of their future through entrepreneurship,” Rick said.

The couple has four children, two of whom work with them in the business. Seventeen-year old Christopher who is in high school and nineteen-year old Lyndsey, a college freshman, both work part-time in the business.

The Sutter’s each play a role in the business based on their strengths. Michelle concentrates on sales, Rick and Christopher take care of distribution and Lyndsey focuses on photography and media relations.

“Even though there are four of us, we still can’t do it all. I realized that I needed to focus my time and energy on what I do best and that is sales.   I was also trying to do the social media piece.   I’m okay at it, but it made sense to contract that out to someone who is better at it so that I can focus on sales.   That has been the best decision,” Michelle explained.

Advertisers are responding to the Sutter’s Coffee News® business in a positive way.   “We live in the Atlanta area where advertising is really expensive and glossy. Coffee News® stands out because it is more ‘old school’ and people respond to that. They like the exclusivity of advertising with Coffee News® and they see us out and about. Coffee News® is more local and community-minded and they know we want to support their businesses as well as see their success,” Michelle explained.

She adds,” Atlanta is a melting pot of people from all over the world, many who tell us they have seen Coffee News® in other places, so they are familiar with the paper and they love it.”

The family has been very creative with Coffee News®. They recently launched a special edition to support the local hockey team.   They call it “News to Enjoy Over Hockey”. “It’s been great fun and great exposure for the business. Advertisers are excited to be part of it and we get recognized, along with a ton of promotion at the games where we wear our Coffee News® hockey jerseys,” Michelle said.

The Sutter’s plans for their new endeavor include publishing more editions and creating a stable and successful business in the years ahead.   “Our kids have been bitten by the Coffee News® entrepreneurial bug.   They see the potential, so they may continue to play a role in the future of our family business,” said Michelle.

Michelle and Rick offer these tips to be successful in Coffee News®:

  1. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Focus on the part of the business that you know and do best.   In turn, find or hire someone to take care of those areas of the business that you aren’t comfortable doing.
  2. Networking is key.   Get out there and be part of the community. Bring a door prize to networking events that you attend.   It’s a great way to be recognized and introduced to a large crowd.
  3. Know your budget and pay close attention to the financial piece of your business.
  4. Coffee News® offers so much support. Take advantage of all of the training that is available from the Coffee News® Head Office and the sharing of ideas from other Coffee News® publishers.

The Top Four Reasons to Start a Home-Based Business

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Over 65% of Americans dream of working from home, but only one in five of us actually do. How do you know when its time to make your dream of starting a home-based business a reality? Take a look at our top five reasons to start a home-based business. If one or more apply to you, you may be ready to be your own boss and start a home-based business!

You have that Sunday night feeling every single night.

After a fun weekend, even the happiest and most fulfilled employee feels a little reluctant to start another workweek. The transition from family and friends to meetings and deadlines can make anyone glum as they set their alarm clock for Monday morning. But for satisfied employees, these emotions are usually mild, and they start melting away with the first cup of coffee and conversations with co-workers. But if you just can’t shake strong feelings of dissatisfaction, helplessness, frustration or resentment as you go through your daily work schedule, something is seriously amiss. You need to make a change before negative feelings about your work life start affecting your personal life.

Being your own boss and working from home can help you regain a sense of control over your work and your life. You can set your own schedule, choose your own career and reap all the rewards of your hard work yourself. Changing careers isn’t for everyone, but as many of our Coffee News® publishers can tell you, if you’re stuck in a rut in your current career, it just might be for you.

You need (or want) to make more money.

That’s right. Self-employed people in America earn more then their salaried counterparts—45% more, in fact. And self-employed small business owners can take special tax deductions that other workers can’t, so they are able to keep more of that hard-earned money, too. It takes a little more effort on the accounting side (and the discipline to make regular estimated tax payments) but for most people, being their own boss can really pay off. If you deserve a raise but the company you’re working for can’t or won’t offer you one, being your own boss might be a good way to get the salary you deserve.

Even the most successful small business owners don’t start making money right away, right? Actually, some do. Franchise opportunities can be a fantastic shortcut to financial freedom. The trick is finding a franchise opportunity that starts making money fast. Many Coffee News® publishers see positive cash flow almost immediately!

You want (or need) to spend less money.

You already know what your current job earns you every month. Have you ever tried to figure out how much your job actually costs you every month? Try making a list of the expenses you pile up by going to work every day. The gas, tolls, parking and maintenance for your car, for instance. The suits or career wear in your closet, the money you spend on your morning coffee or lunch, or those afternoon snacks from the vending machine in the break room. If you are a parent, don’t forget the day care, babysitters and after school activities you need to keep your kids occupied until you can be home. It all adds up, doesn’t it? And when you subtract these necessary expenses from your salary, does the time and effort add up, too?

If you own your own business and work from home, you don’t need a suit for every day of the week. You don’t need to drive every single day, and you can park in your own driveway or garage. You can set your schedule to be home when the school bus pulls up to the house, and you can see your kids’ sports matches and school plays. You can cook your own lunches and make your own snacks. You can improve your net income dramatically—and your lifestyle, too.

To spend less money, your home-based business should have low start-up costs. Coffee News®franchise opportunities rate so highly on Entrepreneur and Forbes in part because they are so affordable to purchase. If you want to buy into a proven business idea without breaking the bank, take a look at Coffee News®.

You just retired.

You read that right! Almost 75% of today’s senior workers take another job after they retire. Why shouldn’t you? You’ve built up years of work experience and expertise, and an entire network of business connections. You have plenty of energy, great ideas and want to supplement your retirement income. You may have reached the end of your journey with your old job, but a new career starts an entirely new journey of self-discovery and self-improvement. And this time, you’re in charge!

Many retired senior entrepreneurs decide to dedicate their second career to helping their communities. If helping your community is something you’ve dreamed of, a Coffee News® franchise opportunity is ideal. Our top-rated restaurant publication supports local businesses and economies, and our publishers provide affordable advertising and invaluable marketing advice to their customers. Sound like something you’d be ready to take on in retirement? Get started with a low-cost, high value Coffee News® franchise today!


Interested in learning more?


A Sense of Success: An Ontario Coffee News® Publisher Prepares to Expand, Again

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Gordon - croppedWhen Garry Gordon anticipates success, he’s usually right. In 1966, he was in Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island, British Columbia (CAN), selling advertising for Thomson Newspapers. He was transferred to Fort William (now Thunder Bay), Ontario, but wanted to get to Guelph, 879 km (545 miles) away. He knew Guelph was where he would meet his future wife, her name would be Patricia, and she would have blonde hair. He requested a transfer. On one of his first sales calls in Guelph, he spotted a beautiful blonde woman behind the jewelry counter at a department store. He asked about her and learned that her name was Patricia. For several weeks, Garry repeatedly asked his sales contact for Patricia’s phone number. When his contact finally relented and gave it to Garry, he and Patricia went on a date, were engaged three weeks later, and in three more months were married. They are about to celebrate their 50th anniversary.

“I was in Guelph for ten months,” says Garry, “long enough to meet her, get engaged, get married, and then I got transferred into home office.” After leaving Nanaimo, BC, Garry remained with Thomson Newspapers for 35 years in Fort William, Guelph, Toronto, Cambridge and Pembroke, Ontario; Yorkton, Saskatchewan; and finally back to Ontario as publisher of the Trenton Trentonian. When he finally retired, he says, “I stayed retired for a year, but was depressed. My wife said, ‘Why don’t you go out and start your own business?’ ”

So he did. That business was a Coffee News® franchise. His years with newspapers put him in an ideal position to promote Coffee News®. “Being publisher of the local paper opened a lot of doors for me,” he says. These days, Garry publishes two editions of Coffee News®, one in Belleville-Prince Edward and the other in Quinte West. And now he is about to open a third to serve Cobourg and Port Hope.

He does the production himself through his company, Impressions Publishing Inc. “I do the ad creation, make copy changes, and upload the pdf files to a printer. I don’t charge my clients for creating an ad. That’s a free service from me. And copy changes are free because I can do all the production myself.”

His Coffee News® operation is a one-man shop, except for distribution. His two current drivers have been with him for six years. “I’m in about 285 locations and that would take me two days to do,” he says. “I feel my time is better spent selling than distributing.”

Garry had bought the Belleville edition when its previous publisher was transferred to Winnipeg. “Two months later, I started the Quinte West edition. I started out with 28 ads sold in the very first edition. Here I am, twelve years later, about to expand again, and my wife wants me to retire again.” But he’s in no rush. “I enjoy it,” he says. “It’s something to do. I’m up at six in the morning. I’m out on the street by 8:30, and I work until one o’clock in the afternoon.”

About six advertisers call him each week. “It’s very seldom that I ever have to go out and make a sales call,” he says. For two-and-a-half recent years, both of his current editions were sold out and he had a list of twenty advertisers waiting to get in. He spoke at a Coffee News® Conference in 2013 in Scottsdale, Arizona, about the importance of two elements that Coffee News® creator Jean Daum incorporated into the publication: What’s Happening and the Contest.

“I do believe the What’s Happening section is one of the reasons I’ve been as successful as I’ve been,” says Garry, noting that he learned to edit in the newspaper business. Now he makes room for as many listings as possible. “I try to get six or seven items in each week.”

For the Contest, he receives about 250 entries a month in his two editions, via his website, by email, and by post. If they’re driving past his house in Trenton, readers even drop them (minus a postage stamp) in his mailbox. “For everyone who enters the contest, I swear there are 25 people who find that little guy every week but don’t enter.” Garry gives away three $50 gift certificates to a local live theatre. “It’s very popular. I say to them, ‘You’re not going to win if you don’t enter.’ ”

His Impressions Publishing Inc. also publishes a Chamber of Commerce business directory and a bi-weekly television guide that sells in local grocery and drug stores. Garry personally distributes the television guide in a single morning every other week.

“Even with all that I do, it’s really only part time,” he says. “In the summertime, I golf every Monday afternoon, Wednesday afternoon, and Friday afternoon. I like my golf!”

Franchise Owner Shares the Pros and Cons of Working from Home

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Jody YoullCoffee News® Publisher – Jody Youll of Bel Air, Maryland

It was a move to a new community that led Jody Youll of Bel Air, Maryland to start her Coffee News business. Youll was looking for a new career that would build on her prior experience in printing, graphics, advertising, and working with local businesses. Youll had previously worked for a printing and graphics company and worked in sales and marketing for a Gannett-owned newspaper and later for Yellowbook.

Youll was already a Coffee News fan when she decided to look into it as a business opportunity. After doing some research and performing her due diligence, Youll launched her Coffee News franchise in 2011 with two editions in Harford County. She added a third edition a year later.

“Coffee News was new to our area, so I did a lot of networking in my community. The publication has been well received and enjoyed. Coffee News is very easy to believe in,” Youll said.

Youll enjoys the lifestyle that Coffee News affords her. “I took a cut in pay when I left my job in corporate America to work from home, but it’s worth it. I love my home office and the flexibility of this business. It’s so much less stressful and affords me the ability to put my family and myself first. I can stay at home if I’m sick and still get work done,” she said.

Youll admits there is a downside to working from home. “It can get lonely at times and you have to be really disciplined or you can get distracted by household stuff. But, if I stay focused, I can accomplish in two hours what it would take me a day to accomplish in an office setting with a lot more distractions,” she explained.

Youll also likes the creative aspect of Coffee News. “I do all of the ad design myself. I enjoy it and it gives my paper a consistent look. I’m also able to make changes to ads quickly” she said.

That is one of the many reasons advertisers like working with Youll and being part of her Coffee News publication “I like being able to help the businesses I work with. My advertisers know I am keeping an eye out for them. They know I have a vested interest in their success. They like the flexibility of being able to change their ads and the exclusivity of being the only advertiser in their category. It’s all about relationships and adding value for my advertisers.” she said.

Youll has helped her businesses create their ads and has gone above and beyond to create logos and other marketing materials for them. “I have been creating marketing materials for years for organizations I volunteer with in my community. I enjoy it and I’m getting better and better at it,” she explained.

That has led Youll to expand her business by using her LLC, Madaco Marketing. “I intend to use this as an ‘umbrella’ business that will include Coffee News and provide marketing services to businesses and organizations, including creating marketing materials such as brochures and other collateral materials,” she said.

Reflecting on the path that brought her to owning her Coffee News franchise and plans going forward, she says.“You never know where things will lead and the direction they will take you. I’m so glad to be doing something I really enjoy.”

Youll offers this advice to be successful in Coffee News:

Have a Business Plan
Youll stresses the importance of having a plan for your business to help you know what you are doing and guide you along the way.

Have Enough Capital
Make sure you have enough capital to pay the bills as you are growing your business, including enough to take care of your personal obligations. This can be in the form of other household income, savings or another job.

Find Mentors
Youll suggests to take advantage of the knowledge of other Coffee News publishers and to find a business mentor or coach.


If you are interested in learning more about owning a home-based franchise, email or call us at 207-941-0860! A home-based business might be exactly what you need. Coffee News is one of the best franchise opportunities – what are you waiting for? Call today!


How a Health Crisis Led a Couple to Start their Coffee News Franchise

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NEW Coffee News® Publishers – Anita & Chad Tilton of Kansas City, Missouri

anita chad tiltonSometimes it takes a health crisis to make us re-think about our lives and priorities.

That was the case for Chad and Anita Tilton of Kansas City, Missouri.   Married for 20 years, with three children, the Tilton’s have recently launched their Coffee News franchise.

Chad is an electrical contractor.   The couple was working together in their family-owned business when Chad suffered a major heart attack at the age of 44 on November 28, 2014, the day after Thanksgiving.

“The doctors said he shouldn’t have survived it. It is a miracle and a blessing that he is still here and it puts things in perspective,” Anita said.

As Chad slowly recovered, their electrical contracting business came to a halt.

“My work is very demanding, physically.   I wasn’t able to work and it made us both realize that we needed a back-up plan,” Chad said.

The couple wanted to find a business they could own and operate until they were ready to retire.   They wanted something that wasn’t physically demanding, that offered flexibility and that they could do together.

“The heart attack really shifted our priorities. We were given a second chance.   We want to enjoy life a little more. We love to travel and have the freedom to do other things we enjoy doing. Owning an electrical contracting business means you are on call 24/7. It’s impossible to get away and the physical demands were getting to be too much,” Anita said.

Anita added, “We also wanted to do something that will impact us and others in a positive and encouraging way.”

Anita was familiar with Coffee News because of her involvement with BNI. “One of our BNI members is connected with Coffee News and posted something about it on Facebook. I clicked on the post and learned that Coffee News is listed by as one of the top ten affordable franchises. I decided to look into it further,” Anita said.

“I said to Anita, you like people and you like sales, so you should look into it,” Chad added.

They began to research the Coffee News franchise by talking to Bill Buckley, the Coffee News franchisor as well as other Coffee News publishers. “We were so impressed. Bill was so helpful and not at all arrogant. Coffee News as a whole has so much honor and integrity and we instantly felt like part of the Coffee News family,” Anita said.

The couple purchased a franchise serving four areas in and around Kansas City.   They officially launched Coffee News in September of 2015. They are developing their business by focusing on maintaining their business relationships and creating new ones through networking.

“Because of Coffee News, a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Knowing we have something we can do together and we can keep doing, gives me such a great feeling of security for our future,” Chad said.

“We are so grateful for this opportunity and we want to encourage others to be entrepreneurs and step out of their comfort zones to build their own dreams. We hope that our experience shows others that you don’t have to be a victim of circumstances.   You can be victorious if you just have hope and a vision and you’re willing to work hard,” Anita said.

She added, “God opened doors for us in so many ways with owning a Coffee News franchise, and because of what he has done for us, we are already successful.  We thank God daily for being #1 in every area of our lives, including our business. I am so thankful my husband is alive and doing well today because God’s hand is upon his heart and we are excited to see continued success in our future with Coffee News.”


Do you think Coffee News is a good fit for you?