Debbie Jackson was looking for a change after a successful twenty year “on-air” career in radio broadcasting and then being a stay-at-home mom for more than ten years. While at home, she started working as a freelance voice-over talent and running a mobile DJ entertainment business.
Her two sons were now grown and while the DJ business was going very well, Jackson just didn’t see it as something that she wanted to do for the rest of her life. “It is physically tiring, mainly weekend work, and if I have to play the chicken dance song one more time I might snap!”
Jackson went into insurance sales and quickly discovered that it wasn’t a good fit for her. Although she enjoyed the “sales” part of the business, she didn’t have a passion for insurance.
She continued to look for another business opportunity that would allow her to cut down on all the DJ work on the weekends. While attending a BNI (Business Network International) meeting, she met someone who owned a Coffee News franchise and was selling it. It was the first time she had heard about Coffee News and became interested in learning more.
After doing a lot of research and crunching the numbers, Jackson decided to purchase the business in June 2011. “It wasn’t a lot of money to get started so even if things didn’t turn out well I felt it wasn’t a huge risk. It’s been a lot of fun since then so I’m glad I took the opportunity!
Jackson describes Coffee News as “The little paper with the big heart.” She adds, “It provides a positive break in the day from all the bad news in the world.”
In the last four years, Jackson has expanded her Coffee News family. She now owns nine franchises and is currently publishing six editions in the Kansas City, Missouri, metropolitan area. Some were new areas for Coffee News and others were owned by franchisees who wanted to sell their business to pursue other things.
“It was a fantastic opportunity to keep Coffee News going strong in the community, “Jackson said when reflecting on why she purchased the additional territories.” She added, “Once you’re publishing several editions, then what’s a few more? It’s sort of like having children – if you have five kids then what is one more?”
Jackson is phasing out of her DJ business and is now enjoying more weekends off. The flexibility of the Coffee News business is one of the many reasons Jackson plans to run the business for as long as she can. “I can still do voiceover work and have my weekends free. This is a business that I could see myself doing as I am getting older because it is not strenuous like the DJ work.”
Jackson says that in her first year in business, “Advertisers were calling me because they already knew about and liked Coffee News.” Affordability, exposure and results are some of the reasons that businesses advertise in Coffee News.
Jackson depends on a great team of people to get her papers published and distributed. She cites her delivery drivers as being critical to her success. “They are the true face of my Coffee News business and have the most interaction with the businesses that display our paper so they have to be friendly and provide great service.”
One of her drivers, Ron Sifuentes, has delivered Coffee News to area businesses for more than 250 weeks in a row!
Jackson offers these tips to be successful in the Coffee News business:
- Have the passion for it. Your passion for Coffee News will shine through; if you believe in it – others will.
- Focus on your relationships with your clients/advertisers customers.
- Subcontract out what you can so you can focus on relationships and sales.
- Basic sales skills and knowing how to run a business are a plus!
- Celebrate your wins every day! Focus on what is going right with your business and have fun with it!