Everyone knows that traditional American mailboxes, usually situated at the end of a driveway, aren’t at all like our door-bound letter boxes here in the UK. These mailboxes are the ‘sole domain of the US Mail’ and independent businesses are not allowed to access them or post marketing material.
In order to get around this many US businesses have established a co-operative system of shared envelopes containing promotions from local shops and businesses who then use the US mail to have them delivered.
Inspired by this concept, Jeff Frankling set out to replicate a similar business in the UK and founded Zone Marketing in 1987. By the early 90s the demand for dedicated door-drop services had grown and in response, Jeff founded the professional leaflet distribution and printing company DOR-2-DOR.
From the outset it was clear to Jeff ‘that DOR-2-DOR could be built into a franchise system so that expansion of the service to other parts of the UK could take place’.
FranchiseSales.com spoke to Debbie Siragher, owner of the DOR-2-DOR Cambridge franchise.
Before entering the franchise industry, Debbie worked in the restaurant trade and helped her husband in his sales and marketing business after starting a family.
When her children were older she decided to buy a DOR-2DOR franchise, which she has been operating for 13 years.
She told us that one of the main reasons she chose DOR-2-DOR was that it was a business to business franchise and that it had systems and processes in place that would enable her to grow it. She also said that she particularly wanted a management franchise, feeling that there was limited scope for growth in other types of franchises.
'In the thirteen years that I have had the franchise it has evolved so much. They are constantly working to come up with new ideas and every idea that the franchisees have seem to be taken on board and considered - it’s become a really dynamic franchise'.
Another reason was the support network in place for the franchisees. She told us that whenever she has a problem or an issue she ‘can always ring up and get a swift response’.
‘We wanted something that we could grow and this ticked all the boxes‘
Debbie chose to buy a franchise instead of starting her own business because her husband already had a business of his own. They had already jumped through all the hoops of establishing a business and felt that it would be preferable this time to take on a model that they knew was proven to work.
The Weekly routine
For Debbie, Monday is spent getting the rounds ready to go as they go out to the deliverers on a Tuesdays and Fridays. When the rounds go out on Tuesday morning they focus their time on marketing and planning the rounds for Friday. She told us:
‘I have an assistant who does a lot of admin work, helps to put the rounds together and do the back checking and monitoring to make sure everything is running smoothly’
Debbie’s advice to anyone thinking about buying a franchise is ‘you really need to figure out what it is you want … you need to see yourself in that role and you have to feel comfortable with the franchise that you’ve chosen’.
A recession proof industry
When we asked her about the future of her business Debbie described leaflet distribution as ‘a very secure industry’ telling us that 95 percent of her business is repeat custom and that ‘the remaining 5 percent those businesses often become repeat too’.
‘People need to market, need to grow, and leafleting is a very cost effective method of them being able to get there’
Debbie told us that during the recession she had approximately 3 months where several of her clients held back and chose to stop marketing. However, eventually there were ‘more new customers that needed to market’ and most of the old customers came back.
‘I honestly only had about 3 months that were not great for business and we picked up very quickly to being back to where we were - so I do think it is a recession proof industry’.