Marty Douglass and her husband, Ed, weren’t looking to get into the Coffee News business. The business found them!
Marty had a long career in medical equipment sales and marketing, while Ed worked in sales. They were well-known in their community and attended many networking events.
It was at one of those events where they met a Coffee News publisher who had an established territory.
“She was an artist – a potter. She wanted to get back to making pottery full-time and was looking for the right people to buy her Coffee News business. She picked us. We were ecstatic about it.”
“We were starting to think about retiring and this seemed like a great move for us,” recalled Douglass. “We joke that our retirement gig is a full time job!”
They purchased all four of her editions in the Jackson, Mississippi area and worked with the seller to transition the business to them. “We went all in. This was an existing operation that required full-time stewardship,” said Douglass.
The Douglass’ published their first paper in July of 2008. Coffee News has now been published in this market for 17 years and has gained a loyal following.
Douglass says that after 8 years publishing and through a lot of networking and building the business, they are now known in the community as the “Coffee News People.”
“I love wearing my Coffee News gear. People stop me in the grocery store and tell me they see the paper everywhere and love it,” Douglass said.
“We are viewed as being legitimate and credible because of the relationships we’ve developed. Our advertisers see us in the community and know us. Most of our ad sales are the results of networking,” says Douglass.
“We view Coffee News as our business card and often say that we have the biggest business card in the county and we treat it with respect so that it represents us and our advertisers well,” she said.
Douglass says that to attract advertisers, they have to see the value in Coffee News. She says their advertisers also like the exclusivity and their broad distribution network they have built up over the years.
The Douglass team includes three delivery drivers, two of whom have been delivering in their territories since Coffee News began distribution there.
“Many of my new advertisers are people who call me from a restaurant with a Coffee News in hand,” she said.
Douglass stresses that to be successful in the Coffee News business you have to put the work in. “If you want to make a living at this – it is a full-time job.”
That said, she enjoys the flexibility this business provides. “I like that I can take a long weekend to go and visit my 85-year-old mother while maintaining the mechanics of the business from my computer,” Douglass said.
“We are enjoying the business so much now. This was to be our retirement job, but we have no plans to retire from Coffee News,” she said.
Douglass offers these tips to be successful in the Coffee News business:
- BE BOLD! Get out there and “BE” Coffee News whenever you are out in the public. It’s all about building relationships and your brand.
- PERSEVERE! Success is not an overnight thing. Put the time in to build your business and it will pay off. Have a 3 to 5 year vision and plan.
- Don’t freak out when you lose an advertiser. Go find a new one.
- Reduce the turn of your ads and know your ad stats. Sign up advertisers for a 6 month to a year commitment. It’s more efficient for you and a better deal for advertisers cost-wise. Plus, it gives them more time to see results.