Is N2 Publishing a scam? It’s not the first time we’ve been asked that question. The truth is, there are a lot of rumors and false descriptions of N2 floating around the internet, and it’s about time we debunked this myth once and for all. Here’s the short answer: No, we are absolutely not a scam. But let’s back up and begin with a simple definition.
N2’s Scam-Free Top Three:
- We’re in a heavily regulated industry. As a franchisor, we must abide by countless processes and laws created to ensure companies selling franchise opportunities are legit.
- BBB gives us an A+ rating. Better Business Bureau, an authoritative third-party agency known for sniffing out scams and raising consumer awareness for shady business practices, has determined we not only earn their highest rating, but meet their criteria for accreditation.
- We have a growing network of dedicated franchisees and advertising partners. More than 800 team members make a living through the N2 opportunity, and our list of advertisers is 30,000-strong.
Merriam-Webster defines “scam” as “a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation.” I think we can all agree scams are basically bad business practices created and carried out by bad actors. And having your company wrongly labeled as a scam is unpleasant, to say the least. The worst part for us, though, is this misplaced, inaccurate label could ward off people who are perfect fits for N2, whether as potential Area Directors or advertising partners.
As a quickly growing organization – Inc. has named N2 one of the fastest-growing private companies in America for eight years in a row – and one that not only has 800+ franchise business owners across the nation, but more than 30,000 advertising clients, it’s understandable a handful of our partners may not be thrilled with us 100% of the time. Despite this reality, we know we do a lot of good – turning neighborhoods into communities through our high-quality, custom print publications, and using a portion of company revenue to fight human trafficking. For us to do the most good, though, we must partner with the right people… and sometimes we fall short. Yes, we said it.
For our product to be the very best it can, we rely on Area Directors – N2 franchise business owners who run point on one or more neighborhood publications on the local level. This role is not for the faint of heart. It’s a turnkey, low-cost, high-reward, home-based opportunity, sure, but it takes a lot of hard work and a lot of client relations know-how. There are two main reasons why a potential Area Director may not fit the bill: They lack motivation to hit the ground running and build as many connections with local business owners as they can, or once they’ve made those connections and partnered with local businesses, they fail to keep up relations with these clients, giving advertising partners the chance to forget why partnering with us made (and still makes) so much sense for their business.
By and large, past and current Area Directors understand our business model and know how much value our niche, hyper-targeted publications bring to local businesses. Of course, there are a handful of people who, for one reason or another, do not make it through our extensive vetting process to start an N2 franchise. We’ve seen some of these people, who have never actually worked with us, claim N2 Publishing is a scam. And there are a few people who were approved to launch an N2 publication but simply did not make it through ramp-up – a three-to-six-month period during which potential franchisees lay the groundwork for publishing their first issue. When no issue is published, no advertising dollars are earned, and therefore no commission is earned, either. It’s understandable someone may feel frustrated after trying and failing to bring a publication to print, after spending a few months attempting to partner with local businesses only to have nothing to show for it. Trust us, we hate it as much as they do. Of course, because they made it through our vetting process – and though we are extremely up front about what it takes to succeed in this role – having someone fail during ramp-up is an example of us falling short, too. Still, the inability to launch a publication has led a few people to turn to the internet to wrongly claim N2 Publishing is a scam. N2 invests significant time and resources into our Area Director Candidates, and even among those who are not ultimately a fit for the role, the vast majority understand success is in their hands and the N2 opportunity is great for the right person, even if not for them personally.
Like finding the right Area Directors, it’s vital for us to partner with the right businesses to advertise in our publications. This is the main task for our franchisees – to be the face of N2 in their local community, with insider knowledge of which companies are worthy of being promoted to our highly-targeted audience month after month. It should be noted that being an ethical, trustworthy company with a great reputation isn’t enough for us to partner with a business. Partners need to understand the terms of our agreement, which isn’t much different than any other print advertising agreement out there. There is a contract. There is a stated length to the contract. There is a stated monthly cost to advertise in our publication. There is a guaranteed ad placement in our contract. When business partners sign the advertising agreement with us, it’s to ensure both parties – N2 Publishing and the advertiser – hold up our respective ends of the bargain. No surprise there, right?
Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned 100% of the time. Maybe an advertiser didn’t read the terms correctly (or at all) and thought the contract could be canceled at any time if business hit a lull. Maybe, as mentioned above, the Area Director failed to keep up the relationship with the advertiser, who then had second guesses about our partnership. When a company partners with more than 30,000 small businesses across the nation, as we do, there will always be a few advertisers who wish to back out of their contract for one reason or another. But the reality of doing business is agreements made are meant to be kept and are generally binding documents with arrangements for early termination. And if any issues arise, we take the time to look into the situation and right any legitimate wrongs.
Now let’s go back to the definition of “scam.” There is nothing “deceptive” about doing business in accordance with a legal advertising agreement. There is nothing “fraudulent” about producing nearly 1,000 monthly publications that provide a means to a more connected life. So, is N2 Publishing a scam? No, not at all. We are a franchisor of hyper-local print magazines that provides Area Directors the opportunity to own their own business and offers small businesses a unique, impactful way to get their message in the hands of affluent residents in their community.