When Sue Mazur bought her first Coffee News® franchise in 2007, she already had extensive business credentials and had been self-employed for 26 years. At the time, she was the national operations manager in Australia for BNI (Business Network International). She knew how to network. She had franchise experience. When a friend and a Certified Public Accountant both recommended Coffee News® to her in the same week, she took note.
“The accountant had looked at the Coffee News® model and thought it was a great business system,” Sue said. “My friend was a current advertiser within Coffee News®.” Sue bought and operated her first Coffee News® franchise while still working full time for BNI.
But even with her experience, Sue still learned a lesson. “In my very first edition, I was sold out in 28 days. I had done all the prep work. Back then we only sold three-month ads. And I thought, ‘Wow, this business is awesome. I’m pretty awesome. I’m done!’ ” Then came the end of the three-month period. Some ads finished. “I got my first bout of cancellations,” she continued. “That’s when I realized that this business is about selling every week, making sure things are in place to keep your sales funnel full so your edition is full, and having that ticking along efficiently. I never wanted to experience that risk period again.”
Within six months, Sue bought her second franchise—this time an established business—and negotiated one day off each week from her full-time job. This let her ease out of her corporate job and into Coffee News®. At that time, two partners owned and operated the Australia Coffee News® Master Franchisee license. Sue was invited in, bought out one of the partners’ interests, and joined the Australia Head Office.
Then her husband joined Coffee News®, too. They set up another two regions and operated it as a family business. Even their two teenagers got involved. As soon as their son could drive, he did deliveries. Their daughter, two years younger, helped in the office. “Both got a great grounding for their careers,” Sue said. They’re now in their twenties. “Leighton at such a young age is managing an electrical contracting firm and has six staff under him. Isn’t that awesome?” Brianne recently returned home from a year traveling in Canada and is in corporate administration.
By 2010, Sue had bought out the remaining Head Office partner, who left due to a family illness, and now is the sole national director and master franchisee for Australia, overseeing operations and franchises. “And that’s when I left BNI. There are only so many hours in the day,” she said with a laugh. “We sold three franchises for profit, and now run one franchise and the Australia Head Office.”
She likes the Coffee News® business model. “You can use the Coffee News® system and systemize everything,” she said. She’s very clear about making sure there’s a good return on investment for her time and about not confusing activity with productivity. “My time is what pays the bills and the mortgage. If I’m not efficient in my time, there’s no one else paying me.” With Coffee News®, she could identify what activities generated income, manage her time accordingly, and set up replicable systems for additional franchises and editions.
Sue loves that Coffee News® helps build strong business communities and matches her personal values of integrity and community. She makes sure that she’s known everywhere as the Coffee News® lady and that the community sees her actively working for her advertisers by being visible at community events and handing out copies of Coffee News® at networking opportunities. “Coffee News® is about making sales. How you do that is through the Coffee News® system—the network, the marketing, the advertising, the conversions. To me, that’s not rocket science.”
And she makes sure her advertisers perceive that she values them. “When we meet a client, we actually expect them to be with us five or more years. My expectation is that every time I meet a client, the value to me for this client is $10,000. I approach them with the deepest respect and I make sure that they know we are after a long-term relationship and partner with them.”
The key, Sue thinks, is personal sincerity. “We had one self-employed advertiser who’d been injured at his business and was in the hospital for a long time. He basically lost all his clients while he was having this dilemma. His wife left him, and the house got sold. He relocated to our area, where he knew no one and had no client base. He put his ad in Coffee News®. Now he’s been with us for four years.” On the day his first ad appeared, he sent Sue a text; he’d already secured a client. A short time ago, he was hired for a $20,000 project. “He has bought his dream car,” Sue said, “To see him recover his business, his identity, to see someone nervous about moving into a new community, to see his confidence level today, literally fills my heart up and it’s why I do what I do. Since all that happened, we’ve become good friends. I know that in what I do, I make a positive difference in the lives of others and in my community.”