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Dentists Build a Sustainable Dental Practice via New Mover Marketing

New Mover Marketing by Our Town America for Dentists

Dentistry Today — It’s both a sad and happy fact for every dentist, business owner, patient, and person, for that matter—everything changes eventually. Right now, your dental practice may be thriving, with patients booked for months. Maybe you’re expanding and having trouble keeping up. You might even wake up every morning feeling like you’ve won the dental practice lottery. But realistically, it won’t last forever. It’s completely normal for every business to go through highs and lows. The same goes if your practice is tanking. If the patient chairs are often empty, and your slots aren’t booked, you shouldn’t despair. Things can always get better, and they probably will. Everything changes. The key is to be proactive in your approach to making the good times last for as long as possible. A steady system for attracting and retaining new patients can make a once empty dental practice full again and thriving for years to come. Even if your practice is doing great right now, don’t get complacent. For a multitude of reasons—moving away, change of insurance, even death—you may see a drop in your patient count. Whether business is up or down, you always need to be thinking of ways to bring in new customers to sustain your practice. New Mover Marketing Constant change is why I encourage dentists to actively engage in new mover marketing, regardless of their practice’s current state. Our Town America, the franchise founded by my late father, targets new movers by direct mail and has a proven business model that specializes in attracting and keeping new customers. In today’s digital age, you may scoff at the idea of direct mail. But time and time again, it’s proven to attract new movers to local businesses. When a family moves into a new neighborhood, they likely don’t know where anything is—the dry cleaner, gym, grocery store, pizza joint, and, yes, dentist’s office. The first few pieces of mail can actually be exciting for new movers. It’s a sign that you’ve arrived. You really live here. Meanwhile, email advertisements, more often than not, go directly to a spam folder without even being seen by the intended recipient. New mover direct mail marketing is the perfect way to let potential patients know where your offices are located. New movers want to know which local businesses are nearby. New movers are looking to establish new “regular” spots and basic necessities, including a dentist. By getting your name in front of those new residents so quickly, you are likely beating out your competition and appealing to a portion of the population who are actively looking for a new dentist. New movers truly are an ideal demographic to target with your marketing efforts. Paying Attention to Potential Patients Pays Off When you send a mailing to potential patients, you can increase the odds of them coming in for a checkup. This is true even more so if you give them an incentive, such as a gift certificate for your services or a small gift. You can be creative as long as the offer is appealing. We encourage you to think beyond a measly 10% off coupon. The better the offer, the more likely a new customer is to give you a chance. By appealing to new movers through direct mail, you’ll earn a reputation as a local business who cares. Your offer will come as a part of a bigger welcome package. Your practice may be featured alongside a beloved pizza joint, a favorite hairstylist, a florist shop that locals love, a respected autobody repair shop, and more. And, of course, when you’re appealing to a new set of new movers every month, not just once, that’s when you begin to have a sustainable practice. A constant influx of new patients means a steady stream of revenue for your practice. Just don’t forget to offer quality services to go along with your stellar offer. After all, the key to keeping patients coming back is a great experience, and perhaps even a followup offer to say thank you for stopping by. Marketing isn’t all that different from taking care of your teeth, really. If you want good results, you must be invested and in it for the long run. Over time, investing in marketing will pay off. Just whatever you do, don’t ignore new movers. If you do, you may walk into your dental practice one day and realize it’s not your patients’ teeth decaying, but rather your patient roster. Brittany N. JohnsonBrittany is the head of Our Town America’s corporate marketing department. She specializes in digital and print media, social media, and public relations. […]

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Our Town America San Francisco Small Business Owner on Her Success

San Francisco Bay Woman Finds Success with Our Town America

Long before investing in Our Town America, the nation’s leading New Mover Marketing franchise, Suzi Dupries was a small business owner wondering how to get more customers to walk through the doors of her beauty salon and retail store. “Back then, I truly felt that New Mover Marketing was the missing piece in my advertising pie,” Dupries says. “I actually was searching for something like this during the last couple years I was in retail.” In January of 2014, Dupries bought an Our Town America franchise territory in the San Francisco Bay Area, she helps local business owners connect with people who have just moved into town.   How Dupries found Our Town America. Similar to other retail storeowners experiencing the decline in sales due to their products sold cheaper online. Dupries started thinking it may be time for a new business plan. Dupries took her knowledge and began looking for a new career path for herself — and started working with a franchise broker to purchase a franchise that would provide growth potential and ongoing support.   Why Dupries chose Our Town America When Dupries first learned about Our Town America, she was immediately drawn to the business model. “I was very fortunate that Our Town America was a perfect fit for me,” she says. “I related to the community involvement which was important to me. I’m a strong advocate of shopping locally and supporting the local community.” Dupries isn’t just talking the talk. She says that she doesn’t shop online, lest the purchase take away from the businesses in her area. That’s a true commitment to shopping locally! “If we don’t do business in our local towns, we won’t have a town community,” Dupries says. “I think people need to know their neighbors and their business neighbors.” But there were other reasons Dupries liked the Our Town America business model. “When you look at all the types of businesses out there, Our Town America is unique. For one, I didn’t have to do a build-out for this franchise. I didn’t have to sign a long-term business lease. Instead, I can work from home, be involved in my community, grow the business and have many sales representatives if I choose to, or just do it myself. With Our Town America, you have flexibility and organize your own time.”   How things have been going so far In short, very well. Granted, Our Town America isn’t for everyone. If you aren’t a people person and aren’t a fan of sales, it may not be a fit. But Dupries clearly had all the right skill sets that aligned perfectly with what it takes to own and operate an Our Town America franchise. “I’m having the time of my life,” she says. She says she particularly enjoys that she can mix it up and be out in the field, talking to business owners about how the New Mover Program will benefit their business — and then other days, she can work from her home calling on businesses. “There are so few businesses where you can do that,” she says. “They’re out there, but often requires managing locations with multiple employees.” It probably helps that Dupries, who once managed employees and was always hustling to bring in new clientele, speaks the same business language her clients do. She can use her own experience as a small-business owner to explain the benefits of working with Our Town America to potential clients. Dupries says that sometime in the future she may hire some sales representatives and take her franchise to the next level — but for now, she is enjoying working solo. – If you’re a San Francisco area business looking to team up with Our Town America San Francisco, please contact Suzi at 415-755-4574. Non-San Francisco area businesses can reach out to the Our Town America corporate headquarters to get in touch with their local representative at 800-497-8360. Brittany N. JohnsonBrittany is the head of Our Town America’s corporate marketing department. She specializes in digital and print media, social media, and public relations. […]

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If There Were Our Town America Trivia, This Guy Would Win

Considering becoming a Franchise Owner? If you’re considering purchasing a franchise location, from any brand, of course, you’ll want to do your research. The same is true for Our Town America. You’ll likely want to talk to some of the people who know the company best. You might contact various Our Town America franchise owners, and at some point, you’ll likely want to talk to the CEO, Michael Plummer, Jr. And then there’s the real expert: Jack Kieffer. That’s our take, not his. Kieffer’s a low-key, unassuming guy. But, in all seriousness, in a way, the Bowling Green, Ohio, franchise owner may have more institutional knowledge about Our Town America than almost anybody else. Kieffer, 69, has been part of the company since 1997, working there during the days of the late Michael Plummer, Sr., when Michael Plummer, Jr., was serving in the military in South Korea. We caught up with Kieffer to get his story and his thoughts on being an Our Town America franchise owner. Kieffer is amicable and interesting, so the conversation flowed easily.   How he became an Our Town America Franchisee. For 23 years, Kieffer worked at Nabisco. He started out as a representative, became an account manager and was eventually promoted to sales manager. Then one day, the layoffs began, and, for a while, they didn’t stop. “I don’t think anyone I used to work with still works at Nabisco,” Kieffer says. After Nabisco, Kieffer began working for a direct mail franchise, one that we won’t name but he describes as “kind of a pyramid scheme.” While working with that company, he attended a convention. There he met Michael Plummer, the founder of Our Town America. Plummer’s company wasn’t yet franchised, and as Kieffer had soured on the company he worked for, he ended up jumping to Our Town America. Unlike the prior direct mail franchise, Kieffer had a feeling Our Town America was a solid, reputable business. He was right. Kieffer was given his own territory — Bowling Green, Ohio — to work, but since Our Town America franchises didn’t yet exist, he wasn’t an official franchise owner. That would come later. “A lot of people questioned franchising Our Town America, including me,” Kieffer says. “But it was a smart move.”   The best parts of being an Our Town America franchisee. Kieffer says there are a lot of things he loves about his career path, but one of the biggest benefits has been the flexibility to own his time. “That’s been the best part of it,” Kieffer says. “I got to coach my sons with baseball and wrestling, and they were very involved in 4-H, and so we’ve gotten to do a lot of that.” Additionally, he estimates since he started with Our Town America, he has gone on nine or 10 cruises with his wife. “It’s also allowed me to do things that I didn’t have time for when I was working for Nabisco,” Kieffer says. For instance, he and a friend started a local baseball tournament that gives money to local schools’ sports programs in the area. Kieffer (who received no money for running the tournament; nor did his friend), says that they raised $200,000 over 15 years before deciding to hand over the reins to other do-gooders.   The secret of any franchise owner’s success. “You have to be somebody who is a self-starter,” Kieffer says, echoing what many Our Town America franchise owners have said. “You have to be someone who can work alone and be motivated. If you’re the type of person who has to have a timecard and a supervisor telling you what to do, this is not the job for you.”   Where does Kieffer go from here? He isn’t sure. For now, he’ll keep building his business and meeting clients, an activity the community-minded business leader thoroughly enjoys. But sooner or later, as Kieffer approaches his 70th birthday, he is mulling over the idea of eventually retiring. So if there is anybody who lives in the Bowling Green, Ohio area and is thinking of becoming an Our Town America franchise owner, maybe you should contact Kieffer. In any case, he says he is glad Michael Plummer Sr. took a chance on him, and that he himself took a chance on Our Town America. “This is a good business and career to have,” Kieffer says. “You don’t need any employees. You can run it all by yourself. And you can make a great living. It’s been a very successful and fulfilling career, and I highly recommend it!”   Brittany N. JohnsonBrittany is the head of Our Town America’s corporate marketing department. She specializes in digital and print media, social media, and public relations. […]

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Jennifer Moseley – Our Town America Was the Cure for Business Travel Burnout

Our Town America Franchise No Business Travel

Jennifer Moseley was always traveling, without getting anywhere. That’s not quite true. She was very good at her job, for instance, and was by all measures a success, but she traveled so much, the airport and hotels felt more like her home than her real house. Moseley saw the people at the Transportation Security Administration more than her friends. “I would leave my home Sunday and get back Thursday,” Moseley recalls. The money was good – she worked for a textbook company, selling nursing textbooks to colleges – but she had no time to spend it. “I was just burned out,” Moseley says. She isn’t over-hyping that. To relax and deal with the stresses of a high-pressure job where she was always in a new city, Moseley said she started hanging out at the airport and hotel bars more than she should have. Even after she moved into jobs that required fewer plane tickets, she continued the habits she had picked up mingling with flight attendants and hotel minibars. Seven years ago, she finished her last drink, brushed up her resume and began looking for a fresh start.   Finding Our Town America Moseley found that much needed fresh start with Our Town America. But if there’s a typical way people become Our Town America franchise owners – and there really isn’t – this was as atypical as it gets. Moseley didn’t go looking to be a franchise owner, and at first, didn’t become one. She saw a salaried position for a corporate sales representative at the Our Town America headquarters. She liked what she saw. She would be working in an office. There seemed to be no, or minimal, traveling. And the more she read about it, she just had a good feeling about the company. She sent in her resume, was called in for an interview and got the job. She was good at it. In fact, one day, after about a year on the job, her boss, the National Sales Director, Michael Murphy, told her that her sales were, on average, a little higher than the franchise owners. Murphy couldn’t help but be pretty pleased – he had, after all, trained Moseley – and so mentioned her success to the company’s CEO, Michael Plummer Jr., who was impressed (“Damn, that’s awesome” is reported to be his response). Moseley naturally asked for a raise and a higher commission, and Murphy and Plummer immediately said yes. “They were wonderful to me,” Moseley says. Fast forward to another year later, and Murphy mentioned to his star pupil that he was thinking of investing in a franchise, but he didn’t want to run it. Instead, he proposed that they become business partners. He would put up the money to invest in a franchise, and Moseley would put in the sweat equity. Moseley liked the idea. She soon left the corporate headquarters and became the co-owner of Our Town America of Sarasota, Florida. Moseley found the Sarasota location because the owner, Sondra Conk, Our Town America’s first franchise owner, was looking to sell after being a franchise owner for about 15 years. Conk wasn’t unhappy with her business, though, and she wasn’t looking to retire. She was interested in selling for another reason. She had, unfortunately, been diagnosed with terminal cancer. “We had become friends, and she was a real mentor to me,” Moseley says. Conk would pass away far too soon, and far too young, in 2016 at the age of 69. Conk had been wary about selling her business, but Moseley would do well with her franchise, building the business up and hopefully making her mentor proud. In fact, Moseley seemed to be on track during her first year to quickly become an incredible success story and no doubt make Murphy very pleased with his decision to buy a franchise and make her a partner. But then Moseley was quickly reminded of her past with alcoholic drinks.   It isn’t what you think. Don’t worry; she didn’t take up drinking again. Moseley started having serious health issues due to her past drinking – it had taken a toll on her pancreas. During her first year of business, she reluctantly missed five months of work. Her second year as an Our Town America franchise owner wasn’t much better. She figures she lost four months due to her poor health. The next two years, maybe a combined three months. “I’m finally better now,” she says. She is extremely appreciative of the people working at Our Town America. “The opportunity that Michael Murphy and Michael Plummer provided to me was life-altering. I’ve truly never been happier – and I can now say, healthier. Those two Michaels changed my life.” But she credits Our Town America, and the strength of its business model, for allowing her the freedom to be sick. “The model is just so family-friendly. It’s just mind-boggling,” Moseley says. “I can’t think of any other franchise where I could have been sick – and still kept the business going. If you have a brick and mortar location, you have to worry about your lease, insurance, customers, etc. The support I got from corporate was just amazing. I don’t think with any other franchise; I could have been really sick and still had a good paycheck coming in.” And she cringes to imagine how employers in Corporate America would have reacted to her being sick. Granted, she had some existing clients from buying an existing franchise – and by the time her health issues crept up, she had landed plenty of new clients on her own and had built a revenue stream. It isn’t as if the model would have provided a paycheck had she not had any existing clients when she got sick. But, still, the business model kept her in the game – and allowed her to focus on her health and recover. “I also was able to take some time off to go take care of my mother […]

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Dana Nelson Has Made Friends and Helped Family, Thanks to Our Town America

Our Town America Lifestyle

Dana Nelson’s tale is a familiar one. If you talk to enough successful franchise owners of Our Town America, patterns begin emerging. For instance, it’s a “people person” business, and it helps to have a driven personality and a knack for sales. On all counts, Nelson fits the bill. For most of her career, Nelson was in wholesale account management. She oversaw a five-state territory for a business in the custom-made home furnishings industry. Nelson trained staff on the products and how to sell them. Additionally, she coordinated marketing programs with accounts. She often talked to business owners, of both large and small companies, learning what their frustrations were. She pretty much did it all. And then one day, she, along with a slew of other coworkers, was downsized during what’s often called the Great Recession. That was one big life event that helped steer Nelson toward Our Town America, but that wasn’t the only event. She had something else going on in her life — her parents were both aging and having trouble living on their own. “They were still in their own home, and they needed in-home health care,” Nelson says. “My mom had dementia; and my dad, as far as he was concerned, was going out of the house in a pine box.” They were 170 miles away, and Nelson began thinking that instead of trying to make it work as an employee, maybe she would have more flexibility to go check in on her parents and spend time with them if she could make her own hours. Nelson tried the interior design field for a while, a career that had been hers before she worked at the custom-made home furnishings company. “But it had changed so much,” she says. “And it wasn’t as lucrative.” From there, Nelson started working with a franchise broker to find out what her options were. She knew she didn’t want to be tied down to a brick and mortar business, one that would come with employees and a lease. That option would likely prevent her from spending more time with her parents. Ultimately, the broker recommended Our Town America. Nelson liked what she heard about the New Mover Marketing company. She loved the attractive, oversized Welcome Package that was sent to those new movers and felt it would be contributing to her community. She began having that internal dialogue we all have when thinking about a big decision. “The timing seems good. The business seems like a good fit. Do it now, or don’t do it,” Nelson told herself. She did it. In the waning months of 2013, about two years after the lay-off, Nelson became the owner of Our Town America of Little Canada Minnesota. She has done well since then, and for those looking for inspiration for their own businesses, there are about four reasons why Nelson has thrived. The flexibility factor. It’s hard to work when you’re worried about loved ones, and because she had a job that allowed her to make her own hours, Nelson was able to help her parents get that in-home care they needed. Her mother passed away a couple of years later, and her father passed several years ago, on his 93rd birthday. But in the midst of all of that, Nelson was able to continue to work on building her business clientele. After convincing her father to move into a nursing home, Nelson and her siblings had the time to properly clean out their parents’ home, renovate it and ultimately keep the cherished property. “If I hadn’t that time with my parents, I would not have been a happy daughter,” Nelson says. The experience factor. It helped Nelson that she was comfortable in the world of sales. Still, she says her personality isn’t one where she is comfortable doing “the hard sell”. She sees her job as more of an educator and a listener. “Don’t tell anyone you can help them until you understand what their needs are,” she advises. “If you get them talking, they’re going to tell you what they need, and then you’ll be able to show them how the product will help them achieve their goals.” The bounce back factor. “The best advice I can give anyone is to stay focused. You are going to get no’s and rejections. If you’re patient, you will eventually get positive results that are going to boost you back up,” Nelson says. “You might meet with people several times, and then a year or two later, you end up working with them because the timing is right. Timing and persistence are important.” The “people person” factor. As noted, Nelson likes people. That’s helped her business grow quite a bit. She doesn’t want to waste time pitching business owners who aren’t going to be receptive to her message, so she is selective about whom she approaches. For instance, she might go into a store, look around and buy something and then later, contact the owner. If she gets the sense that the business isn’t interested in good customer service, she won’t contact them. That practice has served her well. For example, she cites one of her first customers, a liquor store, as a good example of a store that cares about customer service. Upon learning Nelson was a first-time customer, the Owner of the store offered to take her on a little tour of his business, having no idea she was going to pitch him her services. She could tell by this experience that he cared about his business and his customers. He quickly became an Our Town America partnered Sponsor business, and he still is to this day! Now, let’s jump ahead to more recent times. Nelson was recently at a local Papa John’s talking with the new franchise owners and discussing Our Town America. The owners, a husband-and-wife team, were worried about landing new customers. But, while they saw the wisdom of marketing to new movers, they weren’t sure if […]

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Our Town America is a State of Mind (or Two States)

Our Town America Franchise Flexibility

Ken Sultar was the last of a dying breed. He was a phone book consultant. For 16 years, he worked for a company that advised business owners on how to get their company the most efficient advertising in the yellow pages. In those 16 years, Sultar helped businesses save millions of dollars on their advertising. So naturally, the Our Town America franchise, a business model that relies on direct mail, was right up his alley. “There’s a misconception that direct mail doesn’t work,” Sultar says. Sultar was guilty of believing in that misconception at first. He was a bit hesitant to purchase his franchise as he thought that direct mail might be heading the way of the phone book. He did his homework and soon learned that the direct mail industry was thriving and, actually, the Internet and digitalization of the world have actually helped the direct mail industry. “Studies show that Millennials love direct mail – mostly because they don’t typically receive much mail in general. It’s much nicer to read about a business you’re interested in on paper, rather than scrolling through your phone. Our mailings are personalized, and people just don’t get anything like that anymore,” Sultar says. Sultar obviously thought there was something special about Our Town America and liked the concept of targeting people who are moving into a new neighborhood. In 2012, Sultar became the owner of Our Town America of Connecticut. It has gone very well, so several years later, he also bought Our Town America of Massachusetts. He now splits his workweeks, traveling between the two states.   How Ken came to Our Town America As noted, the phone book industry has seen better days. We aren’t ragging on them. We like phone books. As door stops. (No, seriously, we’re rooting for them, but the Internet has certainly done a number on the industry.) As Sultar puts it, “I saw the writing on the wall.” He adds that two other top salespeople left the company shortly after he did. “I was the leader, though. I started it,” jokes Sultar. And so, in the months before he left, Sultar wound up talking to a franchise broker. “I was chatting with my brother-in-law who lives in the Cleveland area and a friend of his happened to be a franchise broker,” Sultar says. Sultar spoke with that franchise broker, who was actually considering buying an Our Town America territory himself. The closest Our Town America franchise, at the time, was in Columbus, which was too far away for the broker. However, he thought Sultar, who lives in South Windsor, Connecticut, should look into buying a franchise. After all, Sultar had 16 years of experience in both business and in business sales, both of which are a major part of the Our Town America business model. As mentioned, Sultar bought Our Town America of Connecticut in February 2012, the very next month attended his Our Town America on-site franchise training, and by April, he was a full-time franchise owner soon landing clients. “It’s a great franchise for those that are dedicated, have a strong work ethic, enjoy chasing leads and like meeting new people. It’s rewarding helping people grow their business while also making the transition to a new area easier for new movers,” he says. It’s not just about money Sultar says that a big part of the attraction of owning two Our Town America franchises is the flexibility it affords him. When he bought his first territory, his son Zack was a sophomore in high school, and on the baseball team. Sultar was able to manipulate his work schedule so he could attend nearly every game. Previously, Sultar coached Zack’s baseball from when he started at age 5 through Little League at age 12. At age 11, Zack also started playing travel baseball. “You get tired of asking permission to get off work an hour early to go coach or watch games,” he says. “I wanted that flexibility of being able to leave the office when I wanted to — and to work later other times.” Zack is now about to graduate college. Our Town America has also given Sultar more time with his wife, Alanna. He mentioned how, last fall, he won a contest for growing his business. The prize: A 10-day trip to Hawaii for Sultar and his wife. “If you work hard, with this company, you can earn that type of stuff,” Sultar said. Obviously, Sultar knows what he’s doing. If you are a business owner in Connecticut or Massachusetts and want to learn about the benefits of targeting new movers, you know who to call. Brittany N. JohnsonBrittany is the head of Our Town America’s corporate marketing department. She specializes in digital and print media, social media, and public relations. […]

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How to Inspire New Movers to Become Regular Patients

Our Town America Dental Marketing

Dentistry Today (May 2019) — Businesses are always on the hunt for new and innovative ways to effectively reach new clients, yet many organizations are completely missing out on arguably the most lucrative portion of the population—new movers. Residents who have just moved to town are actively seeking out new businesses to frequent, including grocery stores, restaurants, gyms, and dental offices. Attracting new customers often can be quite challenging and one of the biggest obstacles a business can face, so it’s crucial to capitalize on this target market and build long-term relationships. The key is to create a personalized offer that will inspire new movers to visit your dental practice and keep them coming back for more! To build a sustainable client base, business owners first need to give their managers and employees the opportunity to spark relationships that last by getting customers in the door. Where Do You Begin? Let’s start with the initial attraction. Targeting new movers can be a tricky endeavor. The first major obstacle is simply locating a new mover. Fortunately, that’s where new mover marketing comes into play. Our Town America helps connect new residents with local businesses through custom welcome packages delivered right to their mailbox. These packages include a collection of one-time, practical, and enticing offers from local businesses. While this paper method of appealing to new movers may seem old fashioned at first, studies have shown that new movers are more likely to utilize a physically mailed offer than one delivered electronically. Despite an increasingly electronic world, paper mailers have shown to be effective. The key is to deliver a new mover marketing offer that inspires action. A simple 10% off coupon usually isn’t compelling enough to pique a potential customer’s interest. Ideally, local businesses will offer a free service or gift if possible, though that isn’t always an option in dentistry. Currently, some of the best new mover marketing offers available from dentists include a free exam or x-ray or a $100 gift certificate for your first visit. Each of these offers will help draw in new customers and give them an added sense of value and appreciation on their first visit. Some dentists even offer new patients a free t-shirt bearing their office’s name and information on the back. This is particularly effective because not only do these new guests feel valued, but each time they wear that t-shirt, the practice gets free advertising. When it comes to crafting an appealing new customer offer or gift, it can pay to think outside the box and get creative. Community involvement is also a terrific way to reach new customers. Many new movers will attend local community events to get a feel for their neighborhood. Hosting events, sponsoring a local sports team, or manning a booth at a festival can be an effective way to get your name out in front of new movers. As you gather more and more happy customers, word of mouth advertising can also be a fantastic method of reaching new customers, including new residents. Much like a new mover welcome package, a friendly neighbor can be a great introduction to the community. Neighbors will recommend their favorite restaurants, veterinarians, and, yes, dentist offices to a neighbor who is just settling in. As the new mover has no other frame of reference, a neighborly piece of advice can be a powerful motivator. While this method of marketing can certainly be effective, it is much harder to target. Many offices have seen success through a referral program. By offering a small discount or gift for both the old and new client, you are killing two birds with one stone. A referral program incentivizes the current resident to spread the word and encourages the new mover to give your office a try. First Impressions New movers are a high-spending target who are actively seeking new dentists. Local practices can’t afford to miss out on this segment of the population. That said, it’s important to reach new residents before your competitors do. Once consumers have chosen a dentist, they typically will not transfer unless given a compelling reason, such as poor service. This disinclination to switch dental service providers stems from a combination of brand loyalty, convenience, and a lack of time, energy, or desire to find a suitable alternative, though that’s not to say that a new customer will never switch locations. When customers have a terrible first experience, they very well may make the effort to find a different dentist who provides better service. The newer the customers are, the weaker their ties to the business are and the more likely they are to leave. It’s no surprise that first impressions can be crucial to long-term success. Sometimes it only takes one bad experience to turn away a customer for good. If you want to see a long-term profit, it’s important to think beyond the initial visit. Lasting relationships, built on a positive foundation, are the key to reaching more people in the community and becoming an established business. Retention rates are important because it is typically far easier (and cheaper!) to keep a customer than it is to draw in a new client. Beyond a tantalizing welcome gift, top-notch customer service and a passion for client satisfaction will keep patients coming back. New mover marketing can be a tricky endeavor, but it is one worth pursuing. Drawing in fresh patients will help keep your practice thriving for years to come, so now is the time to put in the work to grow your customer base. A few years down the road, you’ll be glad you did! Mr. Plummer is president, CEO, and CTO of Our Town America. A US Army veteran and Certified Franchise Executive, he has more than 15 years of experience as a senior-level franchise executive and IT professional in the direct marketing industry. For more than 40 years, Our Town America has been providing new movers with traditional hospitality by mailing warm housewarming gifts from local […]

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Clint Finch named Rock Star Franchisee by Franchise Business Review

Clint Finch Rock Star Franchisee by Franchise Business Review

Franchise Business Review (April 2019) — Clint Finch purchased his first Our Town America franchise territory in 2005, after working as a sales representative for a majority of his career. What is his key to success? Be excited about the product you are selling. This year, Clint was named as an FBR Franchisee Rock Star. “Clint doesn’t let anything stand in the way of making a sale that he knows will benefit the client. Due to his relentlessness, he has become quite the role model and mentor to fellow franchisees in the system.” – Brittany Johnson, Marketing Executive, Our Town America What advice do you have for someone considering investing in a franchise? DO IT!  But don’t think that because you own a business that you are going to just make money!  It takes work and discipline.  There is no one there to check that you are working.  It is really up to you to go out and make it work!   What are you most proud of when it comes to your career in franchising? We have grown to a top franchisee group in our company and we get to spend time helping and training others who are coming in.  It is humbling to know that other business people respect and admire your work.   What was your career path before you entered franchising? I was climbing the corporate ladder. From the beginning as a Sales Representative and working my way up to VP of Sales in several organizations.   As a business owner, what has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome? Expecting everyone to be as excited as I am about my products.  I have learned to accept that others might not see the benefit. However, so many people do, and I will continue to find those people! A second challenge has been keeping my work-life balance.  Getting carried away with work seems easier when it is your own business.   What do you like most about your franchise organization?   Total support from each and every person at our corporate office!  It is more than just the systems in place, which are also fantastic. We also enjoy a great group of franchisees who care about and support each other. To learn more about an Our Town America franchise, request information here. Brittany N. JohnsonBrittany is the head of Our Town America’s corporate marketing department. She specializes in digital and print media, social media, and public relations. […]

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New Homeowner Marketing Tips: Reach New Movers

New Mover Marketing Reach New Movers Our Town America

Every business owner needs to work hard to keep loyal customers – but, in order to grow, you have to find new ones. Seriously, it’s kind of a rule. Sure, you can get a lot of mileage out of repeat customers and finding new services or products for your existing base. But eventually, if you’re going to experience serious growth, you have to bring in new people to your business. That’s why New Homeowner Marketing is so important for companies, especially those local businesses that rely on foot traffic from the community. It’s a way of finding potential customers who have just moved to the area. It gives you the chance to meet them before they have settled in and possibly chosen your competitor at random and then decided that’s their favorite place to do business. Not convinced how important New Homeowner Marketing is yet? Think about the following.   New homeowners haven’t fallen into a routine yet. We are creatures of habit. We tend to wake up at the same time, go to bed at the same time. We eat at the same group of restaurants, shop at the same stores and so on. Even the people who think of themselves as not falling into a routine probably are in a routine. Some young adults, for instance, may say, “No, I haven’t fallen into a rut. I go out and have fun every Friday night.” Well, okay, but that’s the definition of a habit! And if you own a nightclub or bar, you want those people to know about you. It really doesn’t matter if we consider ourselves wild and crazy or boring and stodgy – we crave predictability, and for practical reasons. You’re going to choose one bank, one doctor and one dentist; it’s too much of a hassle and cost inefficient to bounce from different banks, healthcare providers, insurance agents and so on, from year to year. Unless you’re getting terrible or mediocre service, you’re probably going to move into the area, choose who to bank and receive medical care from, and that’s it. You’re locked in – for months or years, and depending on how long you live there, possibly even for life. Even restaurants – you may like to experiment and go to quite a few different places, but if you want good carryout in a hurry, for instance, you’re probably going to soon have your favorites. New Homeowner Marketing allows you to become that favorite.   But how do you find those new homeowners (and renters)? Well, you’re at the Our Town America website. You’ve probably figured that we’re going to suggest you work with an Our Town America franchise owner in your backyard. Our Town America has been specializing in new homeowner marketing since 1972. We have it down to a science. We can reach virtually anybody you’re interested in targeting. You want to reach new apartment dwellers? You want to reach new homeowners? You want families who are new to the area? Single family dwelling units? Multi family dwelling units? We can do that, too. We don’t market to everybody – we market to the new homeowners and renters who are amongst your target audience. And we do that with our state-of-the-art, ever evolving, new homeowner marketing technology.   But how do you know you’re actually being successful in reaching the people you want to reach? Good question. At least, that’s what we imagine you’re wondering. Again, it comes back to our state-of-the-art new homeowner marketing technology. When you send personalized welcome packages to potential customers, and they use the gift certificates they’ve been given, we can track that – and not only know that they used them, we can automatically send follow-up direct mailings, so they have more incentive to come back and start creating a habit and pattern of coming to your business. And you can literally track your return on your investment on your smartphone. But maybe the best thing about new homeowner marketing is that people want to hear from you. They do. People aren’t always excited by conventional direct mailings, but when you’re new to a neighborhood, and you’re wondering what’s out there, those first batches of mail, all mail, can be like getting mail from a friend. When you’re new in town, you want to know what’s out there and what’s worth exploring and trying. New homeowner marketing makes the case that when people are going places, your business is at the top of their list. Interested in learning more about how Our Town America can help your business create loyal, long-lasting relationships with new movers?   Get started here – https://www.ourtownamerica.com/meet-us/.   Brittany N. JohnsonBrittany is the head of Our Town America’s corporate marketing department. She specializes in digital and print media, social media, and public relations. […]

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Central Iowa Business Man Laid Off – Makes Comeback with Our Town America

Businessman Discovers Our Town America Franchising

  When some people experience job loss, they fall apart and lose hope. Others see their setback as an opportunity. When Tim McGrath lost his job as an executive at a specialty retail store, he was understandably shocked and thrown for a loop. But he didn’t give up and assume that his life was about to get worse. He slowly but surely took a path that eventually led him to become the franchise owner of Our Town America of Central Iowa.   Here’s how it happened It was 2016 when McGrath was laid off – after working at a retail company for about 26 years. He supervised stores in the field for about a dozen years as both a district and regional sales manager, overseeing about 200 stores. From there, he became the vice president of distribution running a distribution center for another 12 years and then spent about two years doing real estate work for the company. McGrath was extremely experienced and at the top of his game when he lost his job. What was originally a family company, grew and went public. After a series of acquisitions, the company fell on hard times due to a challenging retail environment and fierce competition from online shopping. Eventually a consulting company was brought in to “transform” the company and when that happens, people lose jobs. No hard feelings, though. “I have nothing bad to say about them. They’re a great company,” he says. Here’s how retailers can battle tech with tech. Anyway, McGrath wasn’t sure what his next move should be.   Franchising? McGrath thought he might want to be his own boss. It seemed like the right time. He and his wife, LeAnn, were empty nesters. Their daughter Lyndsey was settling into a career in health care and lived in town with her three daughters. Their son, Nick, was teaching a couple hours away in Cedar Rapids, and their other son, Tim, Jr., was just finishing up college at the time. It felt like a good time to take a risk. He kicked around the concept of buying an existing business or a franchise for about three months, looking into businesses he might buy. Tim and LeAnn considered a hardware store or maybe a franchise that sold birdseed. But then during a conversation with a business broker, he learned about Our Town America. “I liked the idea. I thought it was pretty cool,” McGrath says. He liked that the franchise cost investment was low. He appreciated that he could work out of his house and keep his overhead low. He also wouldn’t have to hire a staff, as he would selling rakes and hammers or birdhouses and birdbaths. He talked to numerous Our Town America franchisees and kept hearing the same refrain over and over: ‘It’s the best decision I ever made” and “The support and training are very good.” McGrath couldn’t help but like what he was hearing. “I knew I might work just as much as I had been, or even more, but I’d be controlling when I worked and what I did. I got very excited by the idea,” McGrath says. But, instead, he took a job overseeing six assisted-living communities. Wait, what? How did this possibility come into play?   Turning to Our Town America “Neither LeAnn nor I had ever been in a position where we weren’t getting a check every Friday, and having our 401(k) funded and getting health insurance,” McGrath says. In the end, the leap was just too big for us to wrap our heads around. So when this other job opened up, overseeing assisted-living communities, McGrath took it. For whatever reason – perhaps because the entrepreneurial bug had bitten him hard — he just couldn’t get comfortable in his new role. After six months of frustration, we rallied around the idea of buying an Our Town America franchise. A year and a half later, things have gone pretty much as McGrath expected. He isn’t a millionaire… yet, but every month is better than the last, and he and LeAnn are feeling much better about this leap of faith Tim took. “I had a good first year, and if I have an equally good or better second year, I’ll be in a pretty good position,” McGrath says. “This is a residual sales business. It builds on itself very nicely and allows you to be rewarded for your hard work.” He also likes being able to use his wealth of previous work experience at Our Town America. Having run business units for years and needing to show a return on investment to his employer, McGrath finds it very easy to show an ROI to his clients. “I can sit in front of a prospective sponsor and show them the return on their money,” McGrath says. “I can calculate it. That was always important to me going in. I wasn’t just selling people for the sake of selling. I really am helping them grow their business, and we can actually prove that through our calculations.”   Advice for future Our Town America franchisees The most challenging thing for me is getting to the decision maker, McGrath says. “You often are talking to a general manager, a gate keeper who is instructed to not give out the business owner’s contact information. So you end up making presentations to folks who are not able to make a decision, and they then have to explain our program to their boss. It’s an ineffective way to sell as you lose much of the emotion and sense of urgency in the back and forth. That said, I know a lot of franchise owners who are much better than I am at getting to the decision makers. I’m not sure I’ll ever master that, but I will continue learning for them.” He says that working for himself can also be a challenge, one he relishes, but still… “I had never worked from home without a set schedule; it […]

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