A Vet Biz Opportunity with Six-Figure Potential
Tuesday, September 17, 2013 • 9:35am
Fifteen years ago, Michael Plummer left college and joined the Army. “It grew me up,” he says. In Plummer’s words, four years of training and working as a medic at Walter Reed Hospital and in Korea “taught me real responsibility, depending on myself, leadership and how it affects those around you.” Michael says he’d probably still be serving in the military if he hadn’t been called upon to run the family business due to the unexpected death of his father in 2009.
Today, four years later, Michael is running Our Town America, the company his father started in 1972, with the same leadership skills he learned in the Army. Our Town America, the nation’s premier new mover marketing program, helps recently relocated residents find their way to highly reputable area businesses.
According to the U.S. Census, 12% of the US population moved in 2012, representing roughly 12 million Americans. For those movers entering a new county or state, finding the best pediatrician, grocery store or pizza shop is often a headache. However, moves are much less painful for new residents that receive an Our Town America welcoming package full of special offers from local businesses.
This type of new mover marketing service may just be more important than ever in today’s digital world as online networking has all but replaced “welcome to the neighborhood” meet-and-greets on the front lawn. And judging by the comments on Our Town America’s Facebook page, newcomers appreciate the package and say it eased the transition to their new home. Redemption rates experienced by Our Town America’s sponsors further confirm the program’s impact as they range anywhere from 4-32%-- well above the 2% average response rate for this type of mailing.
Our Town America is structured as a relatively low-cost franchise business that is an excellent fit for self-motivated entrepreneurs who are interested in sparking long-term, loyal relationships between local businesses and new movers. “Most of our franchisees have been with us for over 10 years,” reports Michael. In addition, they love the flexible business model (many work from home) and appreciate the amount of corporate support delivered by Michael and his team.
Larry Neal, a Vietnam Veteran and Our Town America franchisee since 2006, said you would be hard pressed to find a franchisee who has anything bad to say about this company. “The relationship between the franchisor and the franchisee is very solid because of the support provided to us in the field and the constant upgrades to the operations.” Larry, his wife and, more recently, their daughter now own three franchises and he said, “I make more money than I’ve ever made in my whole life.”
A 20% discount is given to veterans interested in buying a franchise. That amounts to a $10,000 savings from a normal franchise fee of $49,500. This discount is directly tied to Michael’s military service, which left him with a strong appreciation for how hard it can be to make ends meet. “I’ve been there and I know what it’s like to work part time and pull down 24-hour shifts,” he says.
Michael characterizes the most successful franchisees as “relationship makers—people who like helping the community.” Thinking of the efforts made by our service personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan to help civilians rebuild their lives, or the countless times our National Guard has been called upon during emergencies, that description could easily fit the majority of our service personnel.
AnnMarie Quintaglie McIlwain is a former marketing executive with Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson and consultant to several Fortune 100 companies. Now, as Founder and CEO of CareerFuel.net, she is a social entrepreneur who connects people with the information and inspiration they need in order to get jobs and start businesses. CareerFuel is the only site that gives people what they need to know to find jobs or start businesses plus blogs and short films about real people who made it happen.
A recipient of numerous civic and leadership awards, AnnMarie is a Board member of CFIRA.org, was a participant in the first White House Entrepreneurial Session, the recent WeOwnIt Summit, and the first Alley to the Valley Event. She is also a member of 85Broads and Startup America.
The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TheAlternativePress.com or anyone who works for TheAlternativePress.com. TheAlternativePress.com is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.