Welcome to Franchise Talk, the engaging go-to information resource for franchise owners, including those interested in buying or selling a franchise. Franchise Talk is brought to you by Morgan & Westfield, a nationwide leader in business sales and appraisals. Visit morganandwestfield.com. And now, here's the host of Franchise Talk, Emery Orosz.
Emery: This is Emery Orosz with Morgan & Westfield, and we have a special guest with us this afternoon. Her name is Beth Wheeler. I just wanted to tell you a little bit about her background. I think you'll be impressed that we've landed such a great guest this afternoon. She is a 20-year plus Money Mailer franchise owner. Beth worked from home, and believe it or not raised four daughters while operating this business and they're all very successful by the way. She has been many, many times a top ten performer and a President's Club member for Money Mailer. And finally, she is the only two-time National Franchisee of the Year award winner, so a very accomplished woman and our guest this afternoon. Beth, thank you so much for finding the time to join us here on Franchise Talk.
Beth: Emery, thank you very much for inviting me to join you today. I certainly sound much more impressive than I feel.
Emery: We're off to a great start. Beth, I know that you mentioned this to me before that you sold your Money Mailer business last year, I believe you said in June. What are you doing right now for Money Mailer?
Beth: Currently I'm the Director of Franchise Development for Money Mailer Corporate. My husband has worked with me in the business and had a very successful 27-year run. My husband is a bit less driven than I am and his dream was to golf every day, and he was ready to retire. And so we listed our business and successfully sold it. I worked with the new owner to transition successfully. Honestly, I didn't know what I was going to do. I love Money Mailer. It’s one of the best small business opportunities in the country. And when Corporate approached me and said, "Hey, how about coming aboard and helping other people have the same opportunity you had?" At first I really wasn't sure, but then they shared with me the new two-year GPS launch package that we have in place for new franchisees. And when I looked at the training, and the support, and the financial incentives I just couldn't resist. I thought, what a great second career. We've got a clear path to success now and I can help other people to have the same success that I enjoyed.
We've got a clear path to success now and I can help other people to have the same success that I enjoyed.
Emery: Great. That's what I wanted to talk about this afternoon Beth, is that new GPS program. But before we get into that I just wanted to ask you a question. What do you think are the advantages to operating a home-based business like Money Mailer?
Beth: There's a ton of advantages. Obviously, it makes Money Mailer a much more affordable business to get into because you don't have to take expensive leads, there's no inventory, there's no equipment, there's no build out, there's no employees that you have to hire. It's designed for a single owner operator to run very, very successfully. And I really like that. It also gives you advantage of additional time flexibility. When my kids were young I could make sure they got on the school bus. I didn't have to worry about a commute, and I could still be out in my territory working at 9 o'clock and be able to get the job done. Without having store hours where your store has to be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and if an employee doesn't show up you're tied to it, I had a lot more flexibility. There was a class trip coming up and I wanted to shop around. I simply scheduled myself a day off, and ... I might have made up some of that time for half a day on Saturday but at least I had the option. The big myth is that in order to make a lot of money in business you have to spend a lot of money to get into business, and with Money Mailer it's not true at all. Our average franchisees have six-figure earnings. Our top 25 percent earners are well into the six figures and yet they don't have the overhead and the expense that a lot of other franchise businesses do.
Emery: Tons of benefits in your opinion to operating a home based business. I agree, Beth, with everything you've said. I think if you find the right home based business it's golden. Let's shift the conversation to GPS. First of all what is GPS stand for?
Beth: GPS stands for Goals, Processes, and Systems. You have to keep in mind, Emery, that Money Mailer is a 35-year established company. We've got proven processes and systems in place. We know what works and what doesn't. Rather than becoming old and tired we actually, with the addition to our direct mail program of online and mobile app, are very cutting edge. And we have just enjoyed two of our most profitable years for our franchisee’s and our customers' history. So the company's extremely strong, and what we decided to do was looking at future growth, we were going to come up with a way to cut out lots of pitfalls that people experience when they go into business. We've got a complete two-year support program. It's starts with the training, a five-week intensive training with additional two weeks of field training so that when our franchisees go out to start their businesses they know exactly what they're doing and they can be successful from day one. And married with that we are providing them with instant income. There are a lot of talented people out there, Emery, working in the corporate arena. They may be tired of travelling, they may have hit the glass ceiling, they may have been downsized, and the only thing that's holding them back from getting into business is that they need to replace that paycheck. They probably have a 401(k) or certain assets that they can use to get into business, but they don't have the working capital they need to support their family while they're getting that business up and running.
We've got proven processes and systems in place. We know what works and what doesn't.
Emery: Yeah, living expenses, yeah.
Beth: They do. So our GPS program takes that into account. And we not only provide them with checks from their very first month in business to help them cover their living expenses, but we also cover 100 percent of their overhead during their first six critical months when they're building their business. And believe it or not we have a documented spreadsheet that shows that the minimum first year earnings for our franchisees getting into this business working the GPS plan is about $60,000 to $75,000. So we can now not only give them the training and support they need to run their business successfully, but we can help them guarantee that they're going to be able to provide for their family while they're doing that.
Emery: Tons of benefits, I just want to jump in here, Beth, with the questions. So the GPS program only applies to new startup territories not resales, correct?
Beth: That's true to a point. We do have some territories that we call company-owned resales. And they’re markets where in order to support the franchisees in the area we have kept territory open and running. Because this business is also a very unique concept in that our franchisees work together as a system. So they not only have their own territories that they own and operate email customer base in but when they have a client who wants to mail outside of their territory they're able to leverage the system and place their client at anywhere in the country that client feels they need to mail. In order to expand that distribution network for the franchisees to leverage, we find ourselves sometimes keeping territory open and running so that they can have that benefit. Ideally we'd like to put a franchise owner in there so that they can build the market in addition to what the other franchisees are doing. And since we own and operate those company on resale we're actually offering them at the same undeveloped territory price and those new owners not only get the benefit of existing revenue that's coming into the franchise but they also get a complete two-year GPS launch program.
In order to expand that distribution network for the franchisees to leverage, we find ourselves sometimes keeping territory open and running so that they can have that benefit.
Emery: You mentioned instant income. So guaranteed income for how long?
Beth: For a new franchise territory we guaranteed our income for the first 13 months in business. We cover all of their overhead for their first six mailing cycles. We provide them with a bonus equal to 20 percent of their total sales in their first year in business so they're earning even more money. They get a team of people working with us, Emery, and this is pretty unique. We want to make sure that training is ongoing, so they've got a field trainer that works for them on a daily and weekly basis for the length of their franchise agreement. We give them a customer care expert who does all of the back end of their business. We don't want them to get caught up in learning software programs and systems. We want them building their business. So we actually provide them with a Money Mailer staff person to do all of their back end, and we got a graphic art coordinator who manages all of their art flow for them. So they'd be free of their time, we train them properly, we make sure they've got income coming in from month one, and it allows them to go out and successfully build their business. Our goal is that by the end of year two in business we want them on page for that six-figure income.
Emery: Beth, I work with a lot of franchises across the country, a lot of franchisors and I've never seen a program like this. So I have to ask, why is Money Mailer doing this? Why are they offering such great incentives?
Beth: I think the main reason, Emery, is that for Money Mailer the franchise fee and the royalties are not a profit center, at its very core we're the supplier. When franchisees are placing their mailing orders, that's our profit center, the production side of it. So certainly, it has quite a bit of self-interest on our part that we want our franchisees to get up and running and placing more print orders faster so that we can be profitable. And it's also the in the franchisees best interest to be more successful more quickly as well. Also, those most people don't have $10 million in the bank and they can't ...
We give them a customer care expert who does all of the back end of their business.
Emery: Me included...
Beth: And so they’re coming to the side of Corporate and I talked a little bit about this earlier, they usually can scrape up the franchise fee but the living expenses are beyond our means. We want to tap into that pool of talented people. It's only going to make our system stronger and we can afford to do it. Money Mailer has always been an innovative company. A lot of people don't know this. Back in 1995 Money Mailer had the first coupon website ever. And to put that in perspective, I was a franchisee at that time. When they rolled out this new concept, this online click on website, they encouraged us all to buy laptop computers. And do you know that laptop computer in 1995 cost $5,000?
Emery: I know, I remember them well.
Beth: It's not an unusual thing for Money Mailer to think outside the box, to take their years of experience and look at what's necessary, and put a strong commitment behind their franchisee success. Honestly, at the end of the day the reason that I'm selling parts of Money Mailer and so proud to continue to be a part of it is they're always looking out for their franchisees best interest. And when you work with a lot of franchise systems and you know just how unusual it is that someone like myself who was on the other side as a franchise owner would be so eager to come work for the corporate office. It almost never happens.
We want to tap into that pool of talented people. It's only going to make our system stronger and we can afford to do it.
Emery: It almost never happens. I agree. Beth, I just want to ask you, just highlight if you could please. We have a few minutes left in our program. Just highlight the advantages of the GPS program and being involved with a company like Money Mailer if you would, please?
Beth: Sure. Money Mailer is a marketing consulting business where local owners go out and talk with other local business owners and build relations. They help the business owners understand our marketing strategy and platform. And the business owners, they're working with see real, concrete results so the franchisees build a strong, repeat customer base. And to help them get started we have an extensive seven-week training and support program. We give them a team that will continue to support them through their first two years and beyond. So you have a field trainer, a customer care expert to do their back end and an art center coordinator to coordinate their mailing system. And we provide them with instant income in the form of rebate checks that they get every single month including the month they conclude their training. We cover 100 percent of their overhead from their first ad cycle to give the franchisees time to go out and build customer base, so that when they are taking over their cost and we do reduce the cost from their seventh mailing right to the end of year two to make them even more profitable. And they receive additional incentives equal to the 20 percent of their total sales during their first year in business. If we've got someone who is motivated, upbeat, likes people, and can actually walk out their front door and go to run their business every day, we've got a program to guarantee their success.
Emery: I'm impressed. I've been working with another gentleman at Money Mailer, Dennis Jenkins, great guy. We've been working together for a couple of years now. When he told me about GPS initially I thought this is too good to be true. It doesn't sound like any other program I've ever heard from any franchisor. But it's great. I love it.
Beth: I will just say that here's my projection for the future. Within 24 months other franchise systems are probably going to be taking notice. And I think we will be leading the way perhaps into a new way to support people into business.
Money Mailer is a marketing consulting business where local owners go out and talk with other local business owners and build relations.
Emery: You guys have been leading the way for 35 years, and like you mentioned earlier Beth, last year was your best year in history.
Beth: I know, isn't it great?
Emery: You guys are on the cutting edge. Beth, it was great having you on the show this afternoon. If any of you folks out there listening want to know more about this great GPS program call me, Emery Orosz at Morgan & Westfield and I can tell you a little bit about it, and then let you talk to Beth and she can fill you in on all the details. Again, Beth, great having you on the show. I appreciate it. We will do this again maybe on a different topic, is that okay?
Beth: Oh my gosh, that would be wonderful. I have had a great time today, Emery, and I just want to encourage anybody who's thinking that business ownership might be right for them, Emery Orosz, Morgan & Westfield, reach out and at least start a conversation.
Emery: Thank you Beth, and we will talk to you again soon. You take care.
Beth: Likewise. Thanks, Emery.
You've been listening to Franchise Talk with Emery Orosz brought to you by Morgan & Westfield, a nationwide leader in business sales and appraisals. For a comprehensive valuation of your company or if you're ready to sell, contact Morgan & Westfield at 888-693-7834, or visit morganandwestfield.com.
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If you would like additional information on Money Mailer, please call Emery Orosz at 928-793-3000.