Franchise Opportunities FAQ
Yes, you can sell your franchise only if the same terms are transferred to the new owner. Also, The Seniors Blue Book has first right of refusal to purchase the guide.
The majority of our advertisers come from our data base listings (the listings in the guide itself). Almost all of the 50+ categories we list have potential for advertising. Beyond our listings more advertisers can be found through other print mediums, senior oriented or not, online, and active community networking.
All billing is done internally by the local owner through QuickBooks on-line. You will have the opportunity to take the QuickBooks tutorials if needed and you will also have support of the Seniors Blue Book. There is flexibility in setting up payment terms but the goal is to collect the revenue as quickly as possible. Payments can range from pay in full to monthly and can also be set up on automated credit card payments.
A territory is defined by county boundaries and the total 65+ population in a one county or multiple county area. Territories are capped at a 65+ population of 250,000 and the initial start-up fee is dependent on the size of that demographic.
Depending on your involvement and sales skill you can recoup a profit from the first edition, but typically you will break even. Historically new guides grow rapidly in the first several years after the first publication and you should be able to not only repay the initial investment but also be fully self-sufficient within the first 2 years.
The additional sales rep is an independent contractor. He/she is paid a monthly retainer and a commission %, or a higher straight commission % only. This is decided on case by case basis.
Most likely the answer is yes. The Seniors Blue Book is a complete resource and housing guide comprised of over 50 categories of information. We provide a valuable service to the communities we serve and we rarely find other publications that can offer the same high quality, comprehensive, service oriented approach that we provide at the Seniors Blue Book. A quick on-line search and stop by your local Area Agency on Aging and Senior Center will give you a good idea of what’s already available for resources. Even if there is an existing resource guide in your region we feel confident we provide a superior product and can successfully compete with most other publications.
The Seniors Blue Book is designed to be a one person operation and there is no need for additional staff until you are solidly established in your market and revenue can justify additional help. That being said everyone has a different skill set; some people are simply not good at selling. It is better to recognize this earlier than later and be prepared to take on the expense of a sales person. If a sales person is needed it is still important for you to understand the sales process and be able to have a mutually beneficial dialogue with the sales rep.
After the initial buy-in and monthly draws the costs are minimal and directly related to your involvement in the business. There is no store front, no employees, and little up front expenses. The majority of expenses, printing and graphics come after the end of the first sales campaign, by which time enough revenue is collected from the sales campaign to cover the majority of expenses of the first edition. The only set-up costs involved are costs related to running a home office such as a computer with Microsoft Office, high-speed internet access, fax or fax #, telephone line, office supplies, marketing materials and the expenses related to a car. Ongoing costs include graphics, printing, postage, distribution and sales related expenses.
The Seniors Blue Book requires a full time commitment of 40 hours a week. However, unlike many other ventures, your schedule can be very flexible to accommodate your needs. Some weeks will require 50+ hours and other weeks will only require 20 hours. There are also 2 vacation periods built into the schedule.
We are very proud of our incredibly high renewal rate amongst existing advertisers and know of no other medium that can match it. Historically the renewal rate for advertisers of the Seniors Blue Book is 80%+ and close to 95% in our most established markets. The ability to build your business from a recurring revenue model like the Seniors Blue Book gives you an enormous advantage. You are never starting from scratch and that enables you to continually expand your reach for new growth.
The Seniors Blue Book is a semi-annual publication but its shelf life is far greater than 6 months. Unlike a magazine or newspaper that is read and thrown away the next day, the Seniors Blue Book becomes the daily reference tool/phone book of its readers and is continually utilized over and over again. It is typical for a Seniors Blue Book to last several years before it is replaced.
The Seniors Blue Book and its affiliates are currently published in 15 markets throughout the U.S.
The most important quality a sales person can posses is an ability to ask for and close the sale. The following are good qualities to look for: detailed oriented, ability to multi-task, ability to overcome objections, strong phone skills, a proactive attitude for prospecting opportunities and a willingness to continually follow up and go the extra mile with customer service.
There is a big learning curve when becoming a Publisher. The Seniors Blue Book realizes this and is sensitive to your individual needs. We work with you through an in-depth training program developed over 15 years of trial and error. We expect you to have worked through the training program several times before the mandatory 5-day in-house training that will review every aspect of the business in depth. Prior to the training you will receive an operations manual and thumb drive that has all the spreadsheets, documents and marketing materials that you will need plus specific time lines for you to follow to make sure your first edition is published in a timely fashion. There are also ongoing monthly conference calls between owners in the Blue Book family to discuss operations, share personal accounts and create an overall sense of community and support. Ongoing e-mail and phone support are always offered for as long as needed.
The Seniors Blue Book has strong existing relationships with a graphic artist consortium and a printing house that we have developed for over a decade. We receive the highest quality for the lowest prices and pass on the benefits of our relationship to you. That being said the Publisher is responsible for working with the graphics team and our printing house to create the final document for print. The Seniors Blue Book provides step by step instructions on what is expected of you and how to make it happen.
The local owner organizes distribution and how we handle it varies from market to market. Most of our distribution points come directly from the information we list in the guide. Depending on pricing either a local distribution company, you, our printing house or a combination of all 3 will distribute the guides. Beyond bulk distribution we also set up and maintain our own stand alone racks that need to be refilled and monitored on a monthly to semi-annual basis. The local owner or a distribution company will need to set up stand alone racks and bulk deliveries as needed.
The guide is utilized by seniors, caregivers, family members of seniors and professionals in the senior industry. Our niche market is the elder, elder population and the caregivers and providers that serve them.
YES, publishing a semi-annual resource guide is a full time position. This opportunity requires your full focus and commitment. If you have another business or job that you cannot step away from, this opportunity is not for you.