The Low-Down On Ramp-Up

By Cathy Sine Jun 13, 2017

“Nothing worth having comes easy.”

Yes, it is cliché to kick off with a quote from a past president, but what can you do if Roosevelt simply put it best? I mean, we’re talking about ramping-up a brand-new publication. It’s not easy, but a growing number of awesome people (800+) agree it’s worth it. With help from Cathy Sine, a five-year N2 veteran and Area-Director-turned-Sales-Director, this blog will dispel the mystery of what the heck we mean by “ramp-up.”

Let’s start with a simple definition.

Ramp-up is when N2 Area Directors (ADs) have made it past initial training and begin to actually talk with local businesses about what makes N2 different. But it’s called ramp-up because – even though ADs are making sales calls and meeting face-to-face with potential clients – they don’t yet have a publication to call their own. And that makes sense because launching the first issue of a monthly publication will require some investment in resources – paper, ink, postage – and ADs in ramp-up are focused on generating advertising revenue to cover these expenses (plus, build a profit for their own income). Once the magic number of clients are on board and there’s officially enough momentum and funds to print and ship a publication, ramp-up is done and you’ve launched a publication! On average, this stage lasts three to five months.

Okay, but what kind of support is there during the ramp-up phase?

Like with any brand spankin’ new business, no matter the industry, you have to put in the time to spread the word about your product. But what makes the N2 opportunity different are the proven methods, training, and support which lets ADs know exactly what to do and when to do it in order to ramp-up successfully.

Our ADs are totally prepped even before they land in Chicago – where they attend a comprehensive three-day training seminar led by senior leaders in the organization. And, after that, the support continues. Through-out ramp-up, ADs continue regular coaching sessions with leaders in their geographical area, providing specific direction and localized best practices. Plus, let’s not forget to mention mentors. They’re just another leader that will pick up the phone anytime. Then there are our online training modules, a radio show, weekly sales training calls, and the list goes on. 

Did we mention that every person who works with new Area Directors – and we mean every person –  has “been there, done that”? Yep! All of our sales directors, region directors, C-suite execs, you name it, have ramped up their very own N2 publications, so the advice and support they offer comes from first-hand experience. As an organization, we have made a commitment to developing our in-house talent instead of looking outside the organization for leaders. The result? There is not a single leader in N2 coaching others on how to do a job that they themselves would not do.

Still, not everyone is the right fit for N2.

Even though N2 provides a tried and true method and proven leadership, we will never claim that this opportunity is for everyone. As Roosevelt promised, this will not come easy. Here are a few things we look for in someone we believe will thrive in ramp-up and beyond:

  • A strong work ethic
  • The ability to handle the adversity that comes with selling
  • A program believer (and follower!)
  • A team player

But the most important thing we look for is someone who fits our Culture (a.k.a. a scholarship player with a walk-on mentality).

Did that description remind you of yourself or someone you know? Click here to view our current AD opportunities!

As we mentioned, we currently have 800+ ADs on our team who have successfully navigated the ramp-up process. Below, we’ll share their perspective, plucked from voluntary reviews on our Glassdoor profile. Anyone further interested in talking to a team member about ramp-up is welcome to reach out to ADs in their area through our Team page or ask one of our team members during the interview process.

“N2 has been the best company I have ever been a part of. The company’s culture and the people make it an amazing place to work. I struggled when I first started but the support I received got me through the ramp-up stage. N2 continues to give me the support and has procedures in place for me to be successful.”
– AD in Sarasota, FL, posted February 2017

Ramp-up was the most challenging thing I have ever done. It was also one of the more rewarding things I have ever done. Now that I have been in print for over two years, [this opportunity] is still a healthy challenge but it is also the best [opportunity] I have ever had. It's more like a responsibility I have to our residents and our business partners to provide a great newsletter to be enjoyed in our community.”
– AD in Greensboro, NC, posted February 2017

“It was definitely a challenge to ramp-up without receiving an income... But that's the reality of starting up “your own business" - whether it's with [N2] or something else. You just have to be ready to fight for what you want. Put in the time, energy and sacrifices in the short term to reap the long-term benefits. Believe me... it's worth it!”
– AD in Fargo, ND, posted April 2017

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