WHY I BOUGHT
Former School Teacher and Coca Cola Sales Executive Open Money Pages Franchise as a Way to Help Small Business Owners in Georgia
Ramona and Brian Long came from a family of small business owners. When they discovered Money Pages’ community-oriented culture and proven franchise model, they knew they had an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of fellow business owners.
Money Pages, a multi-media brand that helps business owners reach their target audiences through direct mail, digital products and its flagship product Money Pages magazine, offers a prime opportunity for those entrepreneurs who are looking to give back to the small business owners in their communities. For example, Ramona and Brian Long, the multi-unit owners of Money Pages in Cobb County, Georgia, originally signed on with the Money Pages brand for just that reason.
Today, as small business owners look for ways to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, franchisees like the Longs are able to give back while entering the $70 billion direct mail industry with the backing of a proven business model, low overhead costs and recurring revenue streams.
The Road to Money Pages
Prior to signing on with the brand in 2019, Brian spent 35 years in the corporate foodservice business, including a 10-year sales executive role with The Coca-Cola Company. Ramona was a special development provider and teacher. When Brian’s role ended up requiring too much travel, the Longs decided to start looking at starting their own business.
“We researched several different concepts — restaurants, senior services — everything under the sun,” said Brian. “We chose Money Pages because it gave us the flexibility to work from home, with a low investment and a community-oriented culture. We love helping people, and Money Pages offered a great plan in that regard. Founder Alan Worley and his team truly care and are aligned with all the things that we were looking for.”
Ramona added, “We wanted something we could do that wouldn’t require high overhead costs and a physical location. Money Pages doesn’t require a brick-and-mortar store or a lot of staff upfront, which means a faster ramp-up, a proven business model and a more attractive work-life balance. A lot of that has to do with the support and training we’ve received from corporate as well. We also really liked that Money Pages offered scalability and multiple streams of revenue. Most other franchises didn’t offer that.”
How Money Pages Allows Franchisees To Give Back to Their Local, Small Business Community
The Longs launched their first magazine in 2019. The following year, they expanded to a second territory and have a development deal to open two more after that. Since the beginning, the Longs say they have been fully committed to helping the local business owners in their community thrive.
“Brian and I are both children of small business owners. My dad owned a landscaping company, and his dad owned an office furniture supply company,” said Ramona. “We know what it's like to have those great days and those hard days. The thing that we really love about Money Pages is that Alan Worley had a high-powered job, but he left because he wanted to make a difference for small business owners. We like to feature those locally-owned businesses and provide quality products in every platform and media channel at a budget that makes sense to them. We take the time to get to know them, help them build the foundation of their marketing and help them put together that plan.”
Brian agrees that this opportunity to give back to the community was a primary reason the Longs signed on with Money Pages. “In my previous career, I had traveled so much that I never knew who my neighbors were,” he said. “I wasn't involved with the local business associations or anything like that. This has allowed us to really dig into the community, and it has been great. Money Pages has also allowed us to do a lot of philanthropy work through the Money Pages Foundation.”
How Money Pages Adapted to the Pandemic
Last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Brian says local small businesses were more in need of support than ever before.
“When we came into the pandemic, people were scared and didn’t know what to do,” said Brian. “We told them not to worry — if people are home, they are going to be more likely to read the magazine. When people were shut down, the only place they could go was to their mailbox. We actually got 11 new clients during the first two months of COVID. Over the past year, we’ve been able to help businesses pivot, stay in business and grow through strategic marketing.”
Not only did small business owners that the franchisees work with need support, but the franchisees did as well. While so many other small business owners were struggling, the Money Pages corporate team worked hard to give franchisees a model that could withstand both the pandemic and the recession. As a result, the brand experienced its most successful year of franchising in 2020 and even grew sales 30% during the most recent recession. Due to the format and diversity of the magazine, the brand is protected against seasonality or category dipping.
Ramona notes that they’ve also been able to pivot themselves in order to keep up with the changing times. “Magazine is our flagship product, but we took this time to add on the digital side, and many customers now do combined campaigns,” she said. “We can now be a one-stop-shop, which has resulted in increased returns whether it be SEO, social media, display. It has also opened up new doors for strictly digital customers.”
Looking ahead, the Longs say existing customers continue to ask them to expand to new territories, and the 16 clients who have been with them for all three years are growing alongside them.
“Being local owners, we can truly partner with our clients and help them achieve their goals and adapt to the new landscape,” said Ramona. “Having that opportunity to really be a growth partner with local businesses is so unique to Money Pages franchising, and we are excited to see where the future takes us.”
Worley says the Money Pages corporate team shares in the excitement and is thrilled to have the Longs on the team. “As we grow our brand across the country, we are looking for franchisees like Ramona and Brian who are passionate about what they are doing,” he said. “The more franchisees feel excited to give back to the communities they serve, the greater success they will find with Money Pages.”
The total cost to open a Money Pages franchise ranges from $107,500 to $198,500. For more information, visit https://moneypagesfranchising.com/