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 entrepreneur.com 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.”

 

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How One Family Adapts Its Business to Their Changing Lives

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Coffee News® Publisher – Karen Newton & Glenn Stewart of Southern Georgian Bay, Canada

karen newton“You never know where you’re going to end up” said Karen Newton, when reflecting on the journey that led her to become a Coffee News publisher.

Karen and her husband, Glenn Stewart started their Coffee News franchise in 2006.   Today, they publish six editions in Southern Georgian Bay, Canada.

Newton spent 25 years in an advertising agency franchise with a focus on media planning and buying when the couple lived in Toronto.   Her husband worked in television advertising sales. As a family, they would often vacation in Southern Georgian Bay, a resort area about two hours north of Toronto.

“Then I had that moment when I realized I really didn’t want to do what I was doing anymore.   It was time for a change,” Newton said.

That change included relocating to Southern Georgian Bay permanently.   Newton ran a Bed and Breakfast there and taught at a local college. “When our daughter was in school full time, I was ready to begin a new chapter and began looking for a business opportunity,” Newton said.

Thinking back, Newton remembered the first time she saw Coffee News.   “We were eating at a small café while on vacation in Nova Scotia. I picked up Coffee News and thought these people who run this business are amazing, they can also publish this great little paper,” she recalled.

As the couple started thinking about business opportunities, Stewart attended a franchise trade show. “He came back from that show and handed me a copy of Coffee News and said this business would be a perfect fit for me.   It was the same paper I saw in that café in Nova Scotia.   I had no idea it was a franchise,” Newton said.

The couple began researching the business and determined that it was the right fit for them. “We saw the income potential with Coffee News. I could start the business and build it to the point where Glenn could eventually leave his job and work with me.   It can be something we can continue to do in our retirement by sellingoff a few editions and keeping a few,” Newton explained.

“Furthermore, our local newspapers were not so local anymore, as they had been bought out by larger organizations.   We recognized the need for a paper that would provide information about local events and be a great vehicle for the small-to- medium-sized businesses and nonprofits in our town to get the word out,” she added.

The couple started their Coffee News franchise with one edition. Three months later they added a second edition. Six months later, a third.   A fourth edition soon followed. In one year, they had launched four editions.

“Glenn joined me on a full-time basis two years ago. So, we were able to expand and add two more editions. This past spring, the TV station where he had worked asked him to come back and work on a contract basis, so for now we are not planning any further expansion of our Coffee News business,” Newton said.

“What is nice about Coffee News is that we have been able to expand the business to match what is going on in our lives. We still have a daughter in high school, so we need to have time for family and appreciate the flexibility this business affords us,” said Newton.

As their Coffee News franchise expands and contracts, so does their Coffee News team.   “I believe that when your business reaches a certain size, it makes sense to have delivery people and maybe a salesperson. However, it can be hard to find a salesperson who is as passionate about the business as you are, but often it becomes impossible to do it all by yourself,” Newton said.

Newton says her advertisers are pleased with the results they get from advertising in Coffee News. “Our community is a resort area made up of year-round and part-time residents and vacationers.   Coffee News is where people go to find what they need.   If someone is looking for a handyman to open up or shut down their seasonal home, all they have to do is pick up Coffee News to find one,” she said.

Newton adds, “I have an accountant who has been advertising with me since day one, a museum that has been with me for about six years, and other businesses that are long-term advertisers. That says a lot right there.”

In addition to operating her Coffee News franchise, Newton is also a Coffee News trainer.   She provides instruction, insight and shares her experiences with new Coffee News publishers who attend Coffee News Colleges throughout the year.

Based on her experience as a publisher and a trainer, Newton offers these tips to be successful in Coffee News:

Watch Your Business

There will be times when you may want to pull back a bit. Sometimes life’s priorities shift. That’s okay, but just be sure to keep an eye on your bottom line and your bank account so you don’t fall too far behind.

Keep the Pipeline Full

We all want immediate results when looking for advertisers.   However, the payout is not always immediate. Don’t stop making sales calls or networking because you aren’t getting results. If you strike out today, get back out there tomorrow.   The person who said “No” today, may say “Yes” in the future.

Reach Out for Support

There is a great network of Coffee News publishers to call on for support, feedback, advice and best practices. The people at Coffee News Headquarters are always willing to help, too. Know that you are not alone and take advantage of those resources.

HAVE FUN!

Coffee News is a fun publication and a fun business. Enjoy it! Enjoy your readers, your advertisers and the contacts and network you will build through this business.   Maintain your sense of humor when things get challenging and have fun with it!

Reflecting on 21 Years as a Coffee News Publisher

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Coffee News® Profile – Wilma Scott of Cornwall, Ontario

wilma scottWilma Scott recently celebrated 21 years as a Coffee News publisher in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. It’s been a long run for75-year-oldScott, who is in the process of selling her publication.

“I publish one issue that I’m now selling, due to health issues. I have mixed feelings about that. It’s kind of like giving up my baby, so I’m looking for the right buyer to take it over,” she said.

When Scott started with the CornwallCoffee News franchise in 1995, she was one of only six people publishing Coffee News in Canada, where Coffee News originated.

“There was a woman publishing in Ottawa and I asked her to bring the paper here. She started it, with me running it, but she didn’t do it for long, so I bought it. I wanted to keep it going. I’ve watched it grow over the years,” Scott reflected.

Scott’s first advertiser, a mechanic, is still with her. “About half of my advertisers have been with me for a very long time. Once they try it out and discover that it works, they stay with it. Many say that Coffee News is the only thing that works for them,” she said.

Scott adds, “Businesses like the exclusivity of advertising in Coffee News. I have businesses calling all the time asking if a spot is open for their type of business so that they can have it. When a spot does open up, they grab it.”

Reflecting on her years in the business, Scott notes how things have changed. “I remember the old days when we had to lay out the ads and content on a piece of paper and take it to the printer. That was before we had computerscapable of doing it,” she said.

Scott used to deliver all of the papers by herself, but that changed a few years ago when she fell down a set of stairs and broke her back. “I now have a very nice older man who delivers them. He takes his time to stop and talk to people,” she said.

“After I broke my back, I was still able to put my Coffee News publication together, working on a laptop from my hospital bed,” recalled Scott. “I’ve never missed an issue.”

When asked what she will miss most about being in the Coffee News business Scott replied, ”I will miss getting the paper out every week and being known as the Coffee News lady. I will miss sitting in a restaurant and watching people pick it up and enjoy it.”

Some of her best memories of her Coffee News experience include the support she has received from Coffee News headquarters. “They have always been there for me to offer advice and support. One time I even got to go on a Caribbean cruise with other publishers. I took my girlfriend with me. It was a memory I won’t ever forget,” Scott said.

Scott says her plans for life after Coffee News include taking care of herself, getting healthy and traveling. “I lost my husband in 2009, and happily I have a new friend in my life, and we would like to travel, maybe take a river cruise in Europe,” she said.

Scott adds, “It’s sad to sell my Coffee News franchise, but I’m selling it knowing that I contributed something to people’s enjoyment and to small business growth,and that feels good. I am really going to miss being ‘the Coffee News gal’.”

Scott Offers This Advice to be Successful in Coffee News:

Do Run Contests

I would hide a Coffee News ‘gal’ somewhere in the paper, and would get 100 to 150 entries per week from people who would find her and enter to win a drawing for restaurant gift certificates.

Reach Out for Help

The people at the Coffee News headquarters have been so helpful to me over the years and offered so much support. Take advantage of that resource.

Don’t Get Discouraged

It can take time to build the business. People have to know it and recognize it. There will still be slow times, especially when doing business in a seasonal area, but don’t get discouraged, just keep going.

 

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How a Conversation at a Dinner Party Led this Mom to Her Coffee News Career

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Lori Danielson (left), Leah Hickman (right)

Lori Danielson (left), Leah Hickman (right)

NEW Coffee News® Publisher – Leah Hickman of Longview, Texas

It was at a dinner party in the summer of 2015 when Leah Hickman found the career opportunity she had been looking for. “My friend Lori Danielson, who has been a Coffee News publisher for the past twelve years, told me that another publisher wanted to sell back the publication that Lori had sold to him previously, because he was moving,” Hickman recalled.

She added, “Lori’s Coffee News business was really growing and, after talking it over, we decided to go into business together.”

Hickman had been searching for her next career opportunity after being a stay-at-home mom for 10 years with her son and daughter. “When our youngest started school, I knew it was time for me to start thinking about my next chapter,” Hickman said.

Lori and Leah run and get it done in their best Coffee News fashions.

With a background in sales and marketing, Hickman explored many opportunities that included returning to her previous career in pharmaceutical sales or in medical billing.   She had also worked as a marketer for an assisted-living facility and sold fundraising campaigns for schools.

“I knew I needed something that would get me out of the house.   I was also looking for something that was flexible and with a good income, and I wanted to be my own boss,” Hickman said.

Hickman, who is very active in her community as a volunteer, met Danielson through her involvement with the Junior League.   “When Lori and I started talking about Coffee News at the dinner party, everything just came together.   It just felt like the right fit for both of us,” Hickman said.

She adds, “We make a good team.   We complement each other and together bring 30 years of experience in sales and marketing to the business.   By sharing the workload and the profits, we can cover more ground and still have time to do the other things we both love to do,” she said.

The team is now publishing three editions of Coffee News and Hickman has hit the ground running selling ads and loves her new career. Hickman says, “It’s such a fun paper. Everyone loves it and wants to be a part of it. And I love being back out there, being my own boss and being a community connector.”

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How Serving in the Ministry has Served This Coffee News Publisher Well

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Coffee News® Profile – Lance Carrithers of Wichita, Kansas

lance carrithers

Sometimes it’s time to make a change. That was true for Lance Carrithers of Wichita, Kansas who became a Coffee News publisher in June of 2015, after 26 years as a minister.

Prior to becoming a minister, Carrithers had built and managed a radio station.   “I was familiar with advertisers and what they wanted. I knew that experience would serve me well in the Coffee News business,” he said.

From radio he went into the ministry.   “My wife, Kristi and I were working with youth as volunteers. I felt called to the ministry so I returned to graduate school to get my Masters in Divinity and started my career at a United Methodist Church.   My last job was as the Senior Pastor of the United Methodist Church in Dodge City, Kansas,” he said.

When asked how his years as a minister are serving him well in Coffee News Carrithers replied, “Ministry is all about customer relationships. My last church had 1,000 people so I was getting constant feedback from the customers in my church. In addition, I had to manage the business of the church including our finances, planning for growth and the day-to-day operations.”

When Carrithers decided it was time to make a career change, he began searching for the right opportunity.   “I wanted to find something that I could do and work for myself. Then I saw a listing online for a Coffee News franchise that was for sale and I became interested,” he recalled.

That franchise was being sold by a publisher who was involved in another business and decided it was time to sell off his six franchise areas.

“My wife, Kristi and I met with the seller, and we talked to other Coffee News publishers and the people at the franchise headquarters, before making the decision to buy the business,” Carrithers said.

In June, 2015 the deal was complete and the Carrithers began publishing Coffee News.

In September of 2015, Carrithers attended his first Coffee News College in Bangor, Maine.   The College is a three-day training program conducted by the Coffee News Head Office that provides new franchise owners with the information and training they need to be successful in the business.

“Since we purchased an existing franchise and going concern, we were already publishing when I went to the College. I learned what I was doing well and where I needed to make course corrections,” Carrithers said.

Purchasing a going concern has its share of opportunities and challenges according to Carrithers. “We purchased a business that was already known in the community and had an existing base of advertisers and distribution points. That is a great advantage.   The challenge was not having time to really get to know the business.   Our learning curve was steep and fast because the papers were already in production.”

Carrithers adds, “When you acquire a going concern, you have less control over the image of the business that has been around for a while and it’s harder to make changes as a new owner when people are used to things being a certain way.”

Those changes included increasing the distribution network of the publication and getting more papers out of the racks and into the hands of people.

“We are publishing seven editions and have 300 distribution points. Ideally, we would like to have 500 or more. We are also working to make our display racks more visible and add more contests to attract more readers and advertisers,” Carrithers said.

He is also working to build relationships with new and existing advertisers. “It can be hard to get in the door sometimes.   We are in a large metropolitan area and I am really a ‘small fish’ by comparison. I am involved with BNI (Business Network International) and that helps,” he explained.

Carrithers is enjoying his new life as a Coffee News publisher.   “It was time to do something else and, as hard as I am working now, I am not on-call 24/7 like I was in the ministry. After 26 years, it’s so nice to have evenings and weekends available to spend time with my wife and enjoying life,” he said.

How to Be Your Own Boss Without Stressing Out

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All of our Coffee News® publishers remember the energy and emotion of their early days as entrepreneurs. Starting your own business and taking charge of your own financial future means taking on a lot of responsibilities—and new kinds of stress. How can you manage your new workload and manage your anxiety? We can help!

You started your own business. Now, your new business needs an employee wellness plan. Managing the stress of being your own boss is one of the hardest things for new entrepreneurs to do, but it’s also one of the most important. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of business. To succeed at being self-employed, you need to find ways to fight off stress.

Self-employed and stressed out? Start getting plenty of sleep.
Sustained stress has a big impact on your sleeping patterns, and your sleep has a big impact on your success. Sleep deprivation clouds your memory, reduces your immunity, heightens your irritability, and can make you gain weight. It can also have long-term negative effects on your cardiovascular system and your mental health.

Are you staying up late working, or just worrying? Either way, you’re probably better off sleeping. While the amount of sleep we need is highly individualized, most adults aren’t getting enough. Adults who get less than seven hours of sleep on any given night have more difficulty concentrating and more mood swings than people who slept seven to nine hours.

Because you are your own boss, you can create a sleep schedule that works for you. If you do your best work at night, sleep later in the morning. If you find you are more focused and alert early in the morning, go to bed earlier in the evening. Just make sure that you get a healthy amount of sleep.

Self-employed and stressed out? Start exercising regularly.
Just like a full night’s sleep, regular exercise strengthens your resistance to stress. Exercise releases endorphins, natural mood enhancers that boost your outlook and your productivity. Exercise also enhances your immunity, increases your stamina and keeps you looking and feeling your best.

Being your own boss lets you schedule your workout whenever you want. Go jogging in the morning, take a brisk walk during your lunch break or go biking with your family after dinner. Better yet, find exercise opportunities that can also expand your business. Gym and golf memberships or intramural sports leagues are great places to meet other business leaders in your community.

A regular exercise program also boosts your energy levels, making it easier for you to make healthy eating choices throughout your day. When you feel naturally energized, you don’t need sugary drinks or sweet snacks to wake you up. Regular exercise will keep you feeling healthier, stronger and stress-free.

Self-employed and stressed out? Start seeing the bright side.
A positive outlook is a powerful way to manage stress. When things aren’t going your way and you feel yourself getting stressed, step back. Take a few minutes to take some deep breaths. Focus on finding the best way forward. And see if humor can help! When it comes to stressful situations, laughter really is some of the best medicine.

Seeing the bright side of being your own boss is easy when you work at Coffee News®, the little brown paper filled with humorous stories and good news! A franchise opportunity is also one of the least stressful ways to start your own successful business. Learn more about Coffee News® franchise opportunities today!

 

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How a Career in Law Enforcement Prepared One Couple to Own a Franchise

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vanessa randy coleCoffee News® Profile – Vanessa & Randy Cole of Dalton, Georgia

Sometimes you just need to make a change.   That was the case for Vanessa Cole and her husband, Randy of Dalton, Georgia.

“We both had a long career in law enforcement as sheriff’s deputies and I was a crime scene investigator.   About eight years ago we began thinking about starting our own business,” Cole said.

The couple had no idea what kind of business they wanted to start, so they went to the SBA (Small Business Administration) seeking advice.   “We asked them to tell us what we should do. They said we would have to make that decision for ourselves and they would help us once we knew what we wanted to do.   So, we took some business classes and started looking around,” Cole recalled.

They saw a story about Coffee News in entrepreneur.com and became intrigued with the business, especially because it was such an affordable franchise. “We performed our due diligence by talking with the franchisor about it and with other publishers about their experience. We brought it to our contact at the SBA and they thought it looked like a viable business opportunity, so we went for it,” Cole said.

In 2008, the couple purchased two franchises and published one edition. “It wasn’t easy at first because no one within a hundred-mile radius had heard of Coffee News, so we had to educate people about it.   Plus, the economy was in a downturn at that time. We tried to find distribution points and sell ads at the same time.   It was hard to sell ads before we had our distribution places lined up.   A few weeks into it, I was a bit discouraged, but I’m really persistent and I’m not a quitter,” Cole said.

Today the Coles publish six editions of Coffee News. “I gave up law enforcement to go into the Coffee News business full-time. Randy left law enforcement two years ago to join me in the business. “It’s been eight years now and I’m so glad we did it,” said Cole.

When asked how their background in law enforcement prepared them to go into the Coffee News business, Cole explained, “All I ever knew was law enforcement, so this was a big change. The stress is totally different.   It’s not ‘life or death’ and it’s a lot easier and more fun.   We learned how to work hard in law enforcement and how to be persistent. You can’t give up when you are investigating a case. Those skills are serving us well in our business.”

The Coles are also enjoying the flexibility of their Coffee News franchise. “There are weeks when we will put in forty to fifty hours. We do work hard, but with this business I can go to the beach with my cell phone and laptop and take care of business from there,” Cole said.

They have built a great team, including two sheriff’s deputies who help them deliver their Coffee News editions. They partner with an organization that provides opportunities for developmentally-challenged adults to also deliver their papers.

They employ a college student part-time for administrative, web/social media support and client retention efforts.

“Randy and I share the duties of running the business. He does some of the deliveries and the ad layout work. I focus more on ad sales. We have different responsibilities. So even though we are in business together, we rarely see each other during the workday because our schedules are different,” Cole said.

Cole also spends a lot of her time volunteering and networking. “Although I was out in my community when I was in law enforcement, people really didn’t know who I was.   When we started Coffee News, I jumped into the business community.   It was a new world for me, but today I am very involved with our Chamber and community events.   A lot of our business comes to us through referrals as a result of me being out there. I don’t do a lot of cold calling,” Cole said.

Cole says the businesses that advertise in Coffee News like the fact that they can target their advertising to where their customers are.   They also appreciate the exclusivity and affordability of advertising in Coffee News.

“We educate businesses about why it’s important to advertise for the longer term. We recommend a six-month to one-year commitment to see results.   Time and repetition works. We see a higher percentage of ad renewals from businesses that advertise for the longer term,” Cole said.

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

  1. Understand your cash flow and plan how you will cover your expenses while you are building your business.
  1. Be patient and persistent. Don’t ever give up!
  1. Get out in the community and get involved. People have to get to know you and trust you.
  1. Be sure to follow up with people. Call people back promptly. Do what you say you will do. Under promise and over deliver.