N2 started in 2004, not as the neighborhood publications powerhouse that it is today, but simply with a desire to build a company where the product made a positive impact and the team members made a living in a healthy and community-oriented work environment. Turns out, people were really attracted to a company with these values, and so N2 has grown. A lot.
Today, N2 Publishing is one of the fastest growing enterprises in the United States. Boasting a revenue of $123 million in 2016, N2’s rapid growth has landed the company on the Inc. 5000 list for six years in a row -- a distinction not achieved by many. Now ranked as the 16th fastest growing media company in America, N2 is proving that, given the right niche, print media can defy the odds in an era dominated by digital.
But how, exactly, has a company based in the coastal town of Wilmington, NC found a way to revive print media, an industry once considered obsolete? N2 builds strong, active partnerships with affluent communities all across the nation. The result is a customized, private, monthly publication filled with personal photos and intimate stories, an approach resulting in extraordinary audience engagement and readership. And with such a unique audience engagement, N2 is able to connect local businesses with the most exclusive and affluent homeowners in their area. For these advertisers, our product is proactive, getting directly in the hands of their ideal market, unlike digital media and other print advertisements: digital, which isn’t seen unless the consumer goes to a website or opens one of a million apps competing for user interaction, and print advertisements that get lost in a sea of other junk mail.
The Area Director role is designed to let our people set their own income goals, so there is no typical income earning. However, we do have field leaders who work with our team on their specific needs to make sure they have the resources they need to reach their desired level of income.
That being said, we do have average income representations from our 440 Area Directors who were in print in 2015:
Those looking to join the N2 team will find that, like most things, they get more out of the position the more they're willing to put into it.
N2 exists to give people a better opportunity to work without having to sacrifice the personal time required to have a full life -- a goal that we couldn't achieve in good conscience if we had steep startup costs. We're proud to offer one of the lowest franchise fees in the franchising industry: $570, which N2 is waiving for the 2017 calendar year. But that doesn't mean joining with N2 is going to be easy. Like starting any business, it does take time, typically 3-6 months, for the publication to become profitable. That means, for those who want to start a franchise with N2, they should expect to work full-time and live on a limited income for the first 3-6 months. However, for those who are a good fit for the opportunity, the rewards will outweigh the challenges.
N2 franchisees, who we refer to as Area Directors, have two main responsibilities:
We train our Area Directors both initially and throughout their tenure with us on how to generate ad sales (see section below on Support and Training), so they know how to achieve the most success. The typical process, though, involves cold calling and following up with referrals to schedule appointments with the decision maker or owner of a local small to medium sized business. Upon meeting with the business, Area Directors explain th e product through a quick presentation and find what best works for the business. N2 only offers long-term partnership agr eements so, after a client signs up, the Area Director can focus on providing excellent customer service for that client during their partnership while also meeting with other businesses to generate more revenue.
Beyond the sales, N2 does entrust its Area Directors to build a strong, positive presence in their communities. As a community focused publisher, our Area Directors build relationships with advertisers and residents alike by planning social events, collecting positive stories to publish in the magazine, and practicing honesty and integrity in all things to build a respected reputation for N2 across the nation.
At N2, integrity is at the center of what we do. We are committed to helping our people succeed, and we start that process by bringing the right people on board. Anyone interested in joining the N2 team should check out our Culture Deck on n2pub.com/about. 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 those same values and want to join the team.
Beyond the company culture, though, N2's "it factor" is the opportunity it provides for its people. The Area Director opportunity is unique in that it allows people to set their own income goals and also provides them the resources to reach those goals. 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 takes 15% of the advertising sales revenue and the rest is paid out to Area Directors after publication costs are covered.
We believe though, that income is only one factor used to evaluate the health of an opportunity. Experience has shown us that, typically, income comes at the expense of work-life balance. Not for us. N2 Area Directors are in charge of their own activity, so they are free to set their schedules as best suits their lifestyles. Our Area Directors work from on a self-prescribed schedule, so their work fits their life, not the other way around. We do recommend Area Directors work 40 hours a week, especially in the beginning, but the flexible schedule means hundreds of Area Directors all across the nation are finding time to pick the kids up from school every day, or 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.
EARNINGSUnlimited income Personal business in a territory Trade-out or barter
PROFESSIONAL GROWTHFlexible schedule for family and Creative outlet for building and new ideas Community involvement National recognition
INDUSTRY FOCUSUnique market niche Growth industry/ increasingly desired Economically resilient industry
TRAINING & SUPPORTWeekly guidance and educational conference calls National conferences One-on-one coaching calls
PROFESSIONAL SUPPORTProduction Design Accounting PrintingEditing Mailing Advertising creative Customer service team Access to proprietary client management software Legal support
While there are many perks to being an Area Director, we couldn't work if all the hours were only for personal gain. Last year, we gave away $2,000,000 to fight human trafficking. To know more, check out www.N2GIVES.com.
Area Directors are self-starters who find motivation intrinsically, not from supervisors. And while that self-motivated work ethic does enable our Area Directors to run their own publications, it doesn't mean they work alone. N2 has robust training and support programs to help our team reach their individual goals, as well as represent the company well in their communities. We've launched hundreds of publications all across the U.S., so we know what our people need in order to succeed. Beyond that, though, each member of our leadership team is either still actively running a publication or has in the past, so they know the position and what it takes to do well.