When Entrepreneur released its Best Franchises 2015 rankings, Coffee News® came out on top again—#1 in our category, Advertising-Publishing, and #137 in the top 150 franchises worldwide. We’re one of the least expensive members of the Top 500 Franchises club and yet we’re one of the most successful. What’s the secret of our long-term success? Coffee News® has one of the world’s best business ideas, sure. But it’s our publishers—people just like you who decided to be their own boss and make money working from home—that make the difference. Tony Brooks is one of those successful publishers. He’s been with us for almost as long as we’ve been #1, and he has some wonderful insights on why Coffee News® is the cream of the crop.
OUR SECRET: A GREAT BUSINESS IDEA
“I found Coffee News® eleven years ago today, completely by accident,” Tony Brooks of Ontario, Canada remembers. “I was mowing my lawn and decided to go inside to get something to drink. I flipped on the TV, and caught two minutes of an interview with Jean Daum, the founder of Coffee News®. In just those two minutes, Coffee News® completely caught my attention,” he marvels.
Having one of the best business ideas of the past 50 years is one of the reasons Coffee News® continues to win franchise awards, Tony believes. “Coffee News® is a great business idea. I have a business degree, and I know a good thing. I know accounting and marketing, and I knew it was a great business model from the get-go.”
Everyone he told about Coffee News® agreed with him. “I bounced the idea off of a couple of friends. One of my friends liked it so much we struck up a partnership. We bought our first franchises on September 15, 2004, and had our first edition printed by November 29.”
OUR SECRET: GIVING FRANCHISE OWNERS A FASTER TRACK TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM
Our publishers don’t need to make a big investment to make it big. Coffee News® is a low cost franchise opportunity that can generate high returns, fast. The speed with which new franchise owners can get up and running—and making money—is definitely one of the reasons Coffee News® keeps coming out on top, Tony explains.
“Getting going was so quick I was able to catch the holiday advertising season,” he says. “The end of November isn’t an ideal time to start your ad sales, because so many companies have already spent their fourth quarter budget. So I offered new advertisers the month of December for free if they would sign a four-month contract. By the end of those four months, our editions were completely sold out—and we’ve been going strong ever since.”
Tony got ahead quickly, but today’s franchise owners have an even bigger head start. “Back then, we had to find our own graphic design and printing, and now Coffee News® takes care of that for you,” he says. “Today’s publishers definitely have it easier than we did—they can be up and running in just two to three weeks! But we had a lot of fun teaching ourselves Adobe Illustrator,” he laughs.
OUR SECRET: A PRODUCT THAT SELLS ITSELF
“I still have my first two advertisers, a car lot and a butcher shop, in my editions today,” Tony says proudly. “In fact, some of the ads themselves are the same ads my customers have been running for nine years! And they’re still working.”
The advertising insights and sales techniques built into each issue of Coffee News® definitely give advertisers an advantage, even in today’s media-saturated world, Tony believes. “Sales is not always an easy career, but when you are a Coffee News® publisher, you’ve got an edge. Almost 90% of our issues go home with our readers, and our readers are making the shopping decisions for their families. We’re grassroots advertising, targeting the right people at the right time in the right way.”
Tony’s success often leaves local radio stations, online portals and newspapers struggling to target his happy prospects. “As soon as someone places an ad in one of my editions, they’re going to get phone calls from all sorts of other sales teams,” he laughs. “But my customers are loyal because they’re happy. They’re seeing real results. And they don’t want to let their competition get in!”
“My customers know, for the money and the impact, that nothing is as good as Coffee News,” Tony says.
OUR SECRET: LOTS AND LOTS OF SUPPORT
From Coffee News® College to conferences to the online resource center, the amount of high-quality support and service Coffee News® publishers receive sets our franchise opportunity apart. “When I first started, there was no one around for hundreds of miles,” Tony reminisces. “I had to be self-sufficient. But today, you don’t have to be. Coffee News® takes care of everything.”
Rich support networks fostered at conferences and the mentorship program connecting new and established publishers are two of Tony’s favorite aspects of Coffee News®. “I try to help as many junior Publishers as possible—sharing information on forums, answering questions by email, chatting by phone or at conferences. We talk about different opportunities, we refer each other business, we really try to help.”
“I wish Coffee News® conferences were every year!” he adds.
Reinforcement and reassurance are some of the most important things Tony can offer new Publishers. “The thing about sales is, you’re going to have bad days,” Tony explains. “Your whole life, you’re told not to talk to strangers, and not to talk about money. When you’re in sales, you have to spend your days talking to strangers about money!” he laughs. “It can be tough sometimes. My St. Thomas edition is 90% full, and I share all the insights I have with other publishers to help them get there, too.”
Because Coffee News® publishers aren’t in competition with each other, it’s easier to connect and grow closer to each other. “When I first started, I could call up the owner, Jean Daum, and talk for hours,” Tony remembers fondly. “I have that history and I know how much she cared. I take that from Jean: an attitude of gratitude. What helps others helps me. You don’t just join a franchise with Coffee News®,” Tony declares. “You join a family.”
THE SECRET: EVERYONE LOVES COFFEE NEWS®
“I’m gong to tell you something,” Tony says, already laughing. “My wife. She doesn’t like me to wear my Coffee News® caps or shirts when we go out to dinner. You know why? Because everyone’s going to be coming up to me all evening long to tell me just how much they love Coffee News®.”
Authentic connections with their community are one of the reasons Coffee News® franchises (and their publishers!) succeed, Tony says. “Around town I’m the Coffee News® guy, and that’s fun! I’m a local business leader, I’ve won a couple of prizes, I’ve made a difference to my local economy and I’ve given back to my community.”
At the end of the day, that is what keeps Tony going—and that is what he believes will keep Coffee News® at the top of Entrepreneur’s rankings for the next seventeen years. “People love Coffee News®,” he says with a smile. “I just can’t say it enough.” Visit Tony’s website at: www.ourcoffeenews.com