Sally Hanson and Roger Osborn are franchisees of Our Town America, serving the Raleigh, NC and Fort Myers and Naples, FL markets. They became Our Town America franchisees in 2015.
What was it about the franchise model and or leadership that led you to purchase it?
My friend had been a successful franchisee for 10 years at the time and recommended Our Town America. I liked that it was a stable company and had been in business since 1972. I was looking for a business model where I could work from home with a flexible schedule and have few to no employees.
The company offers so much support, from appointment setting services to sponsor services management. Our training was very good and on-going. We are also our own printing company and don’t have to outsource like some other franchises do. The president of the company is on the cutting edge of technology and is always improving and growing our systems to help support us. We rarely have any turnover with our corporate employees, which is really nice. We have a wonderful corporate culture, much like a family.
What type of business experience, education, and/or skills did you have prior to becoming a franchisee that you have found particularly helpful?
I have a strong background in advertising sales and management. The role is similar to what I’ve been doing my entire career, but now I get to do it for myself and my family.
What do you like most about your job?
I enjoy the flexibility of managing my own time. I have two territories now, one in NC and one in Florida. It’s nice to avoid the colder winters in NC and enjoy sunshine year-round. I’ve now hired someone to handle my NC franchise and she’s doing an amazing job!
How did you fund your franchise? Did you receive any discounts/incentives?
My husband and business partner is a veteran so we were able to take advantage of the $10,000 Military discount that OTA corporate provides. We used our savings for the franchise fee, but we were able to pay it back and turn a profit within the first year.
What advice do you have for prospective franchise buyers? What do you wish you had known prior to going into franchising?
I think it’s necessary to have a strong direct sales background and to be able to manage time well. The business is as successful as you want to make it. It’s also important to follow the training and guidance the company provides. You will do well if you do. Activity and a positive attitude are the keys!
2020 has been a year many small business owners won’t soon forget. And while the pandemic caused some businesses to close temporarily or operate at greatly reduced levels, many home-based businesses continued on with limited impact.