Welcome Wagon

This homegrown entrepreneur welcomes newcomers to her town.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the March 2006 issue of Entrepreneurs StartUps Magazine. Subscribe »

Amy Yendall is a hometown girl. She has lived most of her life in Montgomery County, Maryland, and she doesn't plan on leaving anytime soon. In fact, in July 2005, she became even more embedded in the community with the official opening of her franchise, Our Town of Montgomery County. Yendall's local insight makes her a perfect representative to carry out the franchise's concept and vision of linking newcomers moving in to the area with local small businesses. "It became a mission for me," says Yendall.

As a franchisee, Yendall, 44, spends most of the day setting up appointments and presenting Our Town America's concept to the local business owners. Once they become sponsors, Yendall works with each of them to design gift certificates, which are then mailed out to newcomers in the immediate area. "We try to help them become established again, because [moving is] uprooting. It's traumatic for them," says Yendall. "So we want to make it as easy as possible for them [to] find the reputable businesses that will become part of their regular routine."

The concept is appealing for all parties--especially for businesses offering staple products and services like restaurants, dry cleaners and maid services--but it does require active selling on the part of the franchisees. Yendall's prior advertising sales experience has helped her franchise grow tremendously. She's on track to bring in $195,000 to $250,000 in sales for her first year and is already considering purchasing a second territory. Yendall has set her sights high, but no matter what this franchise has in store for her, she won't stray too far from home.

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