Franchise Qa With David Sliman Founder Of The Inside Coup
How was your franchise/opportunity originally conceived and started?
After spending over 12 years in the Direct Mail industry prior to starting The Inside Coup magazine, it became clear to me that business owners did not really have many solid choices when it came to a very well done, unique Direct Mail Magazine that delivered a good return on investment. This is a multibillion dollar industry and no offense to competitors, however, they have not evolved and they continue to mail out the same envelopes, magazines, papers for the last 30+ years . I wanted to put a modern, cost effective program together that represented our advertisers professionally giving them return on investment. One that was not an envelope, not lost in the mailbox, not tucked in a wrap but a true glossy, Direct Mailed Magazine of quality and value.
What was your original vision for your company? How has that changed over time?
When we started out in 2011, we set out to do something different and revitalize the direct mail industry. We didn’t want to be just another magazine lost in the clutter of the mailbox. We wanted to stand out favorably and we do just that! We connect businesses and families with exclusive offers, eye catching ad design and unique to The Inside Coup® is the “Business Spotlight” which gives our advertisers the ability to tell their story with editorial content. Flash forward, a few years later…here we are…a full fledged franchise expanding nationwide.
What do you believe is the single most important factor when choosing a franchise?
What's the old adage? "Find something you love to do and find a way to get paid for it and you’ll never work a day in your life".
I know you asked for 1, but for me it’s 2 things really… First, there are a lot of industry’s out there that come and go or are not stable. You must be 100% comfortable that your industry is proven and has a track record of success. Our industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry and not going anywhere as matter of fact its getting stronger.
Second, you must believe that your product or service that you are selling is the best in the industry and will warrant profit. Along with that, The Inside Coup® is the best direct mail vehicle and has the best support system in the country and has had franchisees profit in their first mailing.
Why should someone choose your franchise over other similar franchises?
Return on Investment. We have had franchisees profit in their first mailings. This comes with having the best product and support system in the industry but more than that we are an emerging brand with virtually every “Hot Market” in country ready to fill. The Inside Coup® displays an olive branch of corporate support that is unparalleled by any other. Our desire to see our franchisees succeed shines in everything we do. We are not dictators but rather partners. We provide our franchisees with and extensive 28 week jump start business training designed to catapult them in to success. We stay with them every step of the way. Our franchisees have a superior administrative team, design team, technical support, sales support, training team you name it, we are over achievers for the success of our franchisees.
What makes your industry attractive?
For starters, Direct Mail is a multi- BILLION dollar space in mailboxes. 37 BILLION is projected to be spent on Direct Mail in 2017 alone. Based on research and experience, Direct Mail continues to get more attention. Considering response rates and the strong ROI it produces for many businesses, it is no surprise that Direct Mail is continuing it’s trajectory of growth as an industry. Usually for small businesses they have very tight budgets and direct mail is a extremely advantageous and affordable option to take advantage of to grow their business.
What types of qualities do you look for in potential franchisees?
We are looking for a sales or business minded franchisee that want to talk control of their own destiny. In this business you wake up and control the whole outcome of you day. In most industry’s you set up a brick and mortar and hope people come in you door. In this business you create the path of success each and every minute of the day.
We also want very down to earth team yet determined to succeed. We like to enjoy our days, work hard and have little fun along the way. We look for the same in our franchisee candidates. We are all in this together, its a team effort so team players with positive attitudes and a determination to succeed are very attractive to our organization and fair well financially too.
What do your franchise fees and royalties cover?
A top to bottom system of production, design, sales strategies, support and guidance to assist them in running a successful business. Along with evolving custom software platforms they are purchasing a proven system and an established product. We’ve done the research and paved the way in doing a lot of little things different that add up to big results. Every article published on franchising reads the percentage of success is much higher in franchising than a single standing business. You have a turn key operation at your fingertips to help you be successful.
How do territories work for your franchisees?
We geographically determine each territory area via a state of the art and up to the minute mapping technology. Once we determine the market territory a franchise is going to open in, we work in tandem to map it out based on best circulation and demographics. Each franchise territory covers 60,000 mailing addresses and made of 3 mailing zones of 20,000 within that territory (A 9-15-mile radius). Regional and Area developers are highly encouraged to look closer at this opportunity with virtually every market across the country (With the exception of a sold out Arizona) is available to fill.
Why has your franchise model been successful?
Our team for starters, we have people that our truly committed to the success of our company.
Along with that I have had a fantastic experience as a past franchisee in the direct mail industry for over 12 years with another brand that was emerging. I learned a lot of great things that were extremely beneficial about what a franchisee needs to be successful. Our system is based on running a successful direct mail business with laser focus. You couple that with experience and there is no stopping you. Then I’d have to credit our product quality, the perfect circulation, eye catching ad design, engaging editorial, client retention, and a proven proprietary sale system. These features add up to a stronger than average client retention and most of all, help our franchisee’s builds recurring revenue and profit for their business.
Where do you see your franchise in 5 years and 10 years?
To be the strongest and most recognized Direct Mail vehicle that connects every business to every household and community they serve, coast to coast.
What is your favorite advice for new franchisees to help them succeed?
Stay focused, work hard and lean into us. Your success is our mission.
What would you tell potential franchisees that may be nervous about the financial burdens of starting a franchise?
The Inside Coup® business model is rare in a franchising industry. The Inside Coup® was formulated to be a business investment that quickly generates revenue and delivers recurring income. This is proven and is covered in the review of the Franchise Disclosure Document. (FDD) We are very transparent with regard to the timeline in building income.We have had franchisee’s profit in their first mailing! Advertising and Marketing is recession proof and a very lucrative industry if you are simply willing to work.
On average, how long does it take to start a new franchise from the franchisees point of view?
This is immediate. Within our extensive 28 week jump start training program, the goal is to have our franchisees publishing a 32+ page magazines in each zone within their territory which is the magic number of pages for growth in income. Sometime it can be faster than the 28 weeks and other times it can be a bit slower but all in all we help keep our franchisees on track for profit.
What was your background and experience before founding this franchise?
In 1999 I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to become a franchisee of a newly developed direct mail company in Phoenix, Arizona. I was mentored and surrounded by the best in the industry. Not only was I involved in running my business as the the top franchise in the system but also helping the franchisor develop strategies to make the franchise system more dynamic. After my 12 years I decided to take a leap of faith and go in my own direction and in 2011, started The Inside Coup® magazine. Over these 6 years I’ve learned so much more about growing a successful direct mail franchise, which gives us a competitive edge by learning this business from both sides and putting together a solid, experienced team. We’ve created something very special.
Do you have any franchisee testimonials or success stories that you would like to share?
Here is what our franchisees are saying…
"Franchising has been in our blood for over 30 years. Sharon has been a Big O franchisee and has developed and sold many franchises. I have been in corporate marketing helping franchisees grow their business for years. Our decision to purchase The Inside Coup® franchise is one of the best decisions we have made. The training and support has been phenomenal from day one. We are well aware that we are part of the best direct mail service company in franchising today. We are excited about the future and the growth that we are making.” Phil and Sharon M., Arizona Franchisees
"After years of building businesses for other owners I decided to build something for myself. I couldn’t be more pleased to own The Inside Coup®. The team has been incredible to work with and puts out a great production. It’s about the Process, People, and Product. We check all the boxes!” Brian G., Michigan Franchisee