Case Study: 3 Strategies a Local Mom Uses to Run a Profitable Franchise Business

Getting to know women who reinvent their careers is one of the most rewarding aspects of running Splendid Circle. They are blazing a trail for all the other women out there who are just not sure of their path ahead.  I believe the more stories we share, the more role models we have for the next batch of women wondering how they could reinvent their careers.

My second case study in what I call "Splendid Career Reinventors" spotlights Jackie Lieberman, a local Mom of two, entrepreneur and Editor/Owner of TAPinto Westfield NJ.  

After years of working in the publishing industry in New York City area, Jackie decided to breakaway from the hectic 9-5 work life and become a freelancer so she could work from home.  At around that time, the online world and blogging began to grow so she started a Mommy blog about incorporating her Jewish heritage and culture into her children's daily lives. It was through this blogging experience that she realized she enjoyed the connection and community you could build online.  At her kids preschool, she heard from another parent about an online news franchise business that was starting up locally.  

She learned everything about the TAPinto business model (previously called Alternative Press) and realized that it had a lot of potential in the local market.  Not sure of taking on a new business while raising two young children, Jackie started out as a freelance writer for TAPinto Westfield.  By leveraging her previous work as a magazine writer and blogger, she was able to make it work and enjoyed it.  Within a few months, she decided this was the right business opportunity for her and signed up to become the franchise owner of TAPinto Westfield.

Interviewing Fox 5 meteorologist Nick Gregory at the NJ Greek Fest.

Interviewing Fox 5 meteorologist Nick Gregory at the NJ Greek Fest.

Soon, she started developing relationships with local community leaders and business owners.  She began attending all the local town council meetings, chamber of commerce events and local business meetings.  In a few months, she got into a comfortable work-life routine and focused on growing the site's traffic and advertising.

Jackie loves the business she's created for herself but admits it's taken her time and experience to come up with a formula that works for her.  Here, she shares her top 3 strategies that helped her site become profitable:

1. Provide Value.  Early on, she created a Facebook Group for her local community that was not connected to her business.  The group is a central space for her township residents to ask questions,  share information and come together on community issues.  As a result, she has gained valuable market research for her content and can focus on the stories and local events that actually matter to the community members.

2. Focus on Selling.  In any business, selling is the key.  She knew she needed to get the word out to local businesses about what her site offers and invest the time to educate them about the site's reach and advertising packages.  This strategy was especially challenging for her at first but she got better at this over time.

3. Delegate.  Since she knew how to write, she was able to quickly identify and hire freelancers who could write well for her site.  Even though she was a writer herself and still writes quite a bit for her site, she understands that her time is very important. She knew she had to invest in getting the right help if she wanted to grow her business quickly.

At the TAPinto booth at the Festifall Street Fair.

At the TAPinto booth at the Festifall Street Fair.

On any given day of the week, you can find Jackie either sitting in on a local town council meeting or heading to a local business networking event.  She also sets up her schedule so she has time to attend her children's after school sports activities or PTO meetings at their school. She loves owning a business that offers this work life balance. Her approach has made her site one of the most profitable franchises in the entire TAPinto network.