N2 started in 2004 when two friends acknowledged they wanted more from life. More time to spend with their young, growing families. More financial freedom and control. More of their personal beliefs and values reflected in a company’s culture. More opportunities and rewards for hard-working team members.
Today, N2 Publishing is one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States, securing a spot on the Inc. 5000 list for seven consecutive years. And we attribute this massive feat to our unique sales culture – one based on camaraderie, humility, and respect.
N2 is the leader in our industry, creating custom publications that connect neighbors to neighbors and business owners to hard-to-reach customers. We’re passionate about turning neighborhoods into communities, it’s true, but that’s not our sole purpose. We’re really in the business of creating cool opportunities for our team members to work with people they actually like, where they are inspired to grow financially, relationally, and spiritually.
Our flagship product – neighborhood publications – is our tool to create opportunities for our team of franchise owners.
N2 Area Directors are franchise business owners. The revenue Area Directors make comes from the advertising agreements signed with local business owners. N2 uses 15% of the revenue as working capital to strengthen the company. Then production costs to cover necessities like design, paper, ink, and the postage to mail the publications to each resident are subtracted. Everything that remains is what the Area Director takes home as pure profit.
Because we partner with advertisers for 12, 24, or 36 months at a time, Area Directors bring in a steady, residual stream of revenue month after month. And once Area Directors make it to print, they’re able to focus on building up that income.
Of the people in the top half that ran a single publication, the average commission in 2016 landed just over $90,000, though one Area Director earned over $250,000*. For people with multiple publications, the earnings increased quite a bit. For example, an Area Director responsible for five publications earned more than $500,000**.
* In 2016, 203 Area Directors had one publication. Of this group, 101 (49.7%) earned commissions in the top half of commission payments. 37 of the 101 (36.6%) earned more than the average commission of $90,267. The lowest commission earned by an Area Director in this group was $56,439.
**146 Area Directors had more than one publication (between 2 and 6 publications). Of this group, 74 (50.6%) earned commissions in the top half of commission payments. 73 (99%) earned less than $500,000. The lowest commission earned by an Area Director in this group was $99,973.
Your financial results may differ from those stated above. See Item 19 in our April 5, 2017 franchise disclosure document for important assumptions and qualifiers relating to this information.
Like all new businesses, it does take time to become profitable. This season, in which Area Directors sign agreements with advertisers for the publication, but haven't yet secured enough revenue through those agreements to cover production expenses, is known as ramp-up. Until they are through the ramp-up stage and officially “go to print,” they receive limited compensation (much like a retail shop owner invests time in setting up his or her store prior to being open for business). For Area Directors of neighborhood publications, the average length of ramp-up is three to six months.
Yes, the N2 franchise opportunity can be extremely lucrative. But the fact is that only half of the people who go to training and enter into ramp-up actually make it to print. Why? Because it’s not for the faint of heart. It takes a ton of dedication and a willingness to take advice from people who have already excelled in this specific role, regardless of your previous work successes. Ramp-up is challenging – something that our Area Directors often admit was one of the most difficult things they’ve ever experienced.
But like most things, the more someone puts into it, the more they get out of it. For this reason, we seek people who are willing to learn and to face a challenge head on.
N2 franchisees have two main responsibilities:
Through our internationally-recognized training and support programs, we arm our Area Directors with the know-how to generate ad sales. This involves cold calling and following up with referrals to schedule appointments with the decision makers of businesses local to their neighborhoods. We only offer long-term partnership agreements, and there are three reasons for this. First, we know that the more a business is in front of its target audience, the better likelihood they have of being remembered and called upon. Second, the Area Director is able to focus on providing excellent customer service for that client instead of on re-selling ad space to them month after month. Third, the Area Director has more time to meet with other businesses to generate additional revenue and build up the residual income that is created through longer-term agreements.
Beyond sales, Area Directors build a strong, positive presence within their communities – and with their neighborhood residents in particular. By planning social events, collecting positive stories to publish, and practicing honesty and integrity in all things, franchisees help build a respected reputation for N2 across the nation.
At N2, we work hard to make our brand synonymous with positive culture and integrity. Our people are our greatest asset, hands down. We’re growing our team of mentally-tough people who radiate positive energy and better the world around them. People who, first and foremost, fit the N2 culture, and who challenge themselves (and their fellow team members) to be better tomorrow than they are today.
Anyone interested in joining the N2 team should check out our Culture Deck. This simple slide deck outlines everything we value and everything we don't, and it's typically pretty clear to people whether or not they share these same values and want to join the team.
N2 Area Directors set their own income goals and are provided the resources to reach them. Some people on our team work to earn an income level that competes with careers requiring years and years of schooling, whereas some simply look to add a secondary income source for their family. N2 will never have a commission cap because it goes against what we believe as a company. We're here to provide a great opportunity for our people, and that's why N2 only receives 15% of the advertising sales revenue and the rest is paid out to Area Directors after publication costs are covered.
But we believe that income is only one factor used to evaluate the health of a role. Experience has shown us that income often comes at the expense of work-life balance. At N2, that doesn’t cut it. Area Directors take charge of their own activity, so they are free to set their schedules as best suits their lifestyles. Having a flexible schedule means hundreds of Area Directors all across the nation are finding time to pick the kids up from school, travel to Europe for two weeks, or take half days on Fridays.
Those who are a good fit with N2 enjoy owning their own business without the burdens that typically come with being a small business owner. N2's founders started the company with a clear goal in mind -- to craft an opportunity where climbing the ladder to success didn't leave personal time on the bottom rung -- and our goal remains to build a company where both entrepreneurship and work-life balance are praised. So, our franchise model allows our Area Directors to set their own schedules, work from home, and create their own income goals. We know though, that this structure is a unique experience, so we spend a great deal of time training our people, both initially and continually with ongoing support.
PROFESSIONAL GROWTHFlexible schedule for family Creative outlet for new ideas Community involvement National recognition
INDUSTRY FOCUSUnique market niche Industry-leader in the U.SEconomically resilient-industry
TRAINING & SUPPORTWeekly guidance and educational conference calls National conferences One-on-one coaching calls
PROFESSIONAL SUPPORTProduction Design Accounting PrintingEditing Mailing Advertising creative Access to proprietary client management
While there are many perks to being an Area Director, here’s one near and dear to our heart: Their hard work directly impacts the lives of victims trapped in modern-day slavery. How? As a company, N2 Publishing has committed 2% of total annual revenue to the fight against human trafficking via our philanthropic arm, N2GIVES. This means every time an Area Director makes a sale, they are contributing to this worthy cause. To date, N2 has donated more than $5 million to the fight.