Avallone became an Our Town America franchise owner after a friend moved and told him about the Welcome Package he had received. Immediately, Avallone thought that was an intriguing business concept. Avallone’s father, after all, had been a major in the army, and so Avallone knew a lot about moving as a child, mostly shuttling around cities throughout New York and Ohio.
And then, as an adult, Avallone’s career in shipping logistics had bounced him around between New York, Ohio, and Florida. So, when he heard about Our Town America, a business model based on a personalized welcome package catering to new residents of a city or town, it seemed like a genius idea.
“As somebody who moved a lot, I understand the process of establishing the necessary business relationships to live your everyday life,” Avallone says. “I talk to clients about this all the time now – when I lived in cities like Albany, Rochester, Columbus, Orlando – and now St. Pete – I had a dentist in all of those places. I got my hair cut in all of those places. I did my dry cleaning in those cities. All of these things that I’ve done as an adult and remember my parents doing, you have to find those places when you move to a new community, and so it’s just a wonderful program, not just for the new mover, but also for local business owners who want to meet those new movers.”
And as luck would have it, about the time he heard about Our Town America, he was looking to start his own business. And then working with a business broker, Avallone learned that a franchise in his area just happened to be for sale. Which is how earlier this year, Avallone came to be the owner of Our Town America – Tampa Bay.
In fact, right now, Avallone is more like his customers than even he probably realizes. As everyone knows, moving is stressful – can be exciting sometimes, but still stressful. And so is starting a new business. As well as raising a family. Avallone has done all three within the span of a year. He only recently moved to St. Petersburg, Florida (just down the way from Tampa Bay). He just bought his Our Town America franchise and is adjusting from being a paid employee (a sales manager) for a shipping company to being a business owner. And he and his wife, Stacey, recently had a little boy named Matthew who just turned 8 months old.
“I’ve literally been a mess of stress… I’m a headcase. But I’m learning, and I know it will get better with time,” he jokes, shortly after a visit with a prospective new client.
Oh, he’ll do fine – and Avallone admits that he thrives on stress, and that he is very motivated to run a successful, thriving business. Plus, while his last name sounds like “alone” (if you say it quickly… okay, really quickly), he isn’t alone. First, he has a very encouraging spouse (“I can’t say enough good things about my wife,” he says). Avallone also has a very supportive team behind him.
“All the folks at the corporate office in Clearwater have been so tremendously helpful at every turn. It’s an amazing group a people and they are a team in every sense of the word. I’m lucky to be a small part of that team,” Avallone says.
He also gives a special mention to Mike and Julie Fisher, who owned the Tampa Bay franchise before him.
“Even though they aren’t technically required to answer questions, they’ve been so helpful, and I can’t thank them enough. Mike and Julie still love the business and that is a big reason why I bought the franchise. I knew I’d have their support and they continue to provide it any chance they get,” Avallone says. “And the other franchise owners around the country, they’ve been so incredibly supportive, helpful and welcoming – and full of good advice as I try to learn the business and promote to local businesses to do their marketing with Our Town America.”
And it sounds like he’s doing a great job. You can hear the excitement in Avallone’s voice when he talks about the Our Town America concept.
“You have that audience who, for the first three to five weeks after they move in, are walking to their new apartment or driving to their new condo. They have to grocery shop somewhere. They have to find a doctor somewhere. They need to get their car serviced somewhere. We know that, and that’s a powerful way to not just attract a new customer but to have the first chance to earn their business for as long as they’re going to live in their new home.”
Are you looking for the excitement of being a business owner like Michael? More specifically, an Our Town America franchise owner? If this opportunity sounds like it could be for you, learn more at https://www.ourtownamerica.com/franchise-us/.
Brittany is the head of Our Town America’s corporate marketing department. She specializes in digital and print media, social media, and public relations.