What I Have Learned as a Coupon Magazine's First Ever Franchisee

What I Have Learned as a Coupon Magazine's First Ever Franchisee
Image credit: Money Pages

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Franchise Players is Entrepreneur’s Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. If you're a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email ktaylor@entrepreneur.com.

Don Grindle always wanted to be his own boss. So, when he left corporate America, he decided to take a chance and become the first ever Money Pages franchisee. While Money Pages had an established history as a direct mail advertising publication, the company had never franchised. Here's how Grindle decided to bring Money Pages to Ormond Beach, Fla., as the company's first franchisee.

Franchisee name: Don Grindle, president of WDG Enterprises, LLC

Franchise owned and location: Money Pages in Ormond Beach and Port Orange

How long have you owned a franchise? 

Since March of 2013.

Related: Opening an Education Franchise I Believe In

Why franchising? 

I worked in corporate America for most of my career and always wanted to be my own boss. I was also looking for something that my son could be an integral part of. 

What were you doing before you became a franchise owner? 

I was senior vice president of operations of a national sunglass company that employed over 500 people and shipped to many major retailers including Wal-Mart, Target, CVS, Costco, Macy’s and several other companies in the U.S.

Why did you choose this particular franchise? 

I choose Money Pages because of their proven history in other markets since 2000. I immediately knew it was what I was looking for after my first visit to their corporate office and meeting with their CEO, Alan Worley. I was given the opportunity to spend a day in the office with the graphics department as well as a day in the field with one of their sales reps so I could make sure it was the right fit.

How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?

Franchise fee - $25,000

Training- $1,200

Office expenses-$1,500

Salaries - $3,300 (Started selling seven weeks before first publication)

Insurance - $600

Misc. - $1,500

Grand opening marketing - $3,000

Escrow fund - $33,000 (required in an escrow account representing two months of publishing expenses for a 24 page magazine. Monthly fees of $16,500 per month are due before magazine goes to publication.)

Total Investment- $67,600

Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research? 

Mostly on the Internet. I used a broker to look at several different franchise opportunities but Money Pages was referred to me by my financial advisor who was aware that the brand was about to start a new franchise program.

Related: Moving Up the Ranks From Mover to Franchisee

What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise? 

Opening the first franchise in the history of the company and getting the first issue published. We had to sell at least 16 pages to be able to publish the magazine. We exceeded our expectations and published a 24 page magazine for our inaugural edition. 

What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise? 

Try to see if it’s possible to actually experience what you will be doing so you can make sure it is the right fit. Expect to work harder than you ever have initially to get the business started. Find a company that will work with you to help you succeed. 

What’s next for you and your business? 

We published our first magazine in June of 2013 so we have been in business for over one and a half years. In October of 2014 we started our second franchise with a goal of two more franchises in the next five years. The company offers incentives for owners giving them the opportunity to expand to help them reach their goals.

Related: Why This Ex-Franchisor Decided to Become a Franchisee

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