Franchises: Families® Magazines & Families Online


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A trusted brand since 1990!

7_topstoryFamilies Magazines trail-blazed the parenting magazines freemium model. We are leaders in the field. We’ve been building our brand for almost 25 years!

As a franchisee, you benefit from the history of our success.

  • You don’t need prior publishing experience: you are buying tried and tested business practices and a complete package of resources to run your business.
  • Our magazines are aimed at ABC1 parents with children 0-12 years. A pretty much recession proof sector; parents always want the best for their children’s future.
  • Brand trust and loyalty means real results: our advertisers see the benefits of advertising with us and re-book again and again.
  • Families Magazines territories are neither too small (not attractive to enough advertisers) nor too large (not appealing to local companies).
  • Check out what we do: for What’s On listings and things to do readers tell us we are the best. We are also known for tackling big topics: we provide solid advice on parenting, health, childcare. We voice important issues, such as the danger of excessive sugar and wheat in children’s diets, BPAs, education policies, etc.
  • launched in 2000 – a long time ago in the web world! It is an invaluable resource for parents, a compelling channel for our advertisers and an important digital leg to the print offering. The recent addition of a fully searchable, local What’s On Calendar furthers our strategy to offer a complete synergy between print and online. Continuous investment in recent technological innovations ensures we remain cutting edge.

High performing and motivated but with new priorities now you have children?

  • 6_topstoryMotivated and ambitious? Is it time to move beyond the corporate world and work for yourself?
  • Are you sales driven, and enjoy building relationships?
  • Would you like to work flexibly around your children, now they are your top priority?
  • Ever thought of running your own business, juggling your own hours,becoming your own boss? whilst keeping the profits for yourself?
  • Would you enjoy the satisfaction of producing a high-quality local magazine that parents regularly call “a life saver”?
  • Would you appreciate having a backup team for support and advice while retaining full control of your business?

If this sounds like you then a Families franchise could be your future.

What do you get when you buy a Families franchise?

  • 8_topstoryAn established, respected and ethical brand
  • Business practices which have been developed and adapted over the last 25 years.
  • A business which has successfully come through two recessions.
  • Highly regarded as an effective marketing tool with other franchise brands such as Stagecoach, Jo Jingles etc
  • Low cost entry and low overheads for a territory large enough for future growth.
  • A wealth of working documents including our unique, specially created, software package used to run your business.
  • Full induction and training programme, including sales training.
  • Access to regular training days, business growth workshops and in- house Support.
  • National sales bookings via our sales team and cross sales from within the group.
  • Access to high-quality articles and features written by professional journalists; to help you broaden the local content you create.
  • Access to constant advice and support from Franchise Directors.
  • The opportunity to achieve the perfect work/life balance allowing quality time with your children during term-time and the school holidays.
  • A chance to run your own business, from home.
  • Opportunities for further business growth on Families Online.
  • You become part of a friendly and supportive community of editors.
  • You are building an asset to sell in the future.

Case Study

5_topstoryAfter my husband and I moved back to the UK from Australia with our 3 year old daughter, we soon started reading Families. It became my “go-to” guide for everything “for families” in the local area. I was amazed by its breadth of local information about events, activities, classes and clubs for families and children, as well as the intelligent, helpful parenting articles.

One year, when I saw in the magazine that it was for sale, I immediately knew this was a challenge I couldn’t pass up. A 20 year career on the business side of television meant that I had the skills to develop the magazine by growing the distribution, increasing the revenue and embracing online and social media opportunities it offers. I could see it being the start of my own mini publishing empire! With 40 national editions, the scope was there to establish a viable business model with one magazine and then replicate it by buying another Families franchise.

Families Upon Thames had been established for 12 years, but Frances, the owner, was ready to move on. The magazine was extremely well-known and respected locally and I got great feedback about it from all the parents I spoke to. After 20 years in the public service, I knew I was done with corporations and bureaucracy. I wanted independence, to be in charge of my own destiny and to work flexibly from home so that I could honour the priorities and values of being a parent. My husband was also ready for a career change and we agreed to take on the business together.

After several months of preparation, excitement, and a few sleepless nights, I got to hold the first issue, with a photo of our daughter on the front cover, in my hand. Nothing compared to that feeling!

Magazine publishing is fast-moving, so it’s necessary to be highly focussed and organised, self-motivated and self-disciplined. It’s all about setting goals and meeting them. But there is lots of support. I couldn’t be more impressed by the on-going range of training opportunities offered by my franchisor, which keep me up to speed with sales and marketing techniques and publishing trends. Whilst I relish the chance to work for myself without the constant distractions and politics of a work place, I know that my fellow franchisees, who have proved warm and genuinely helpful, are there whenever I need them and can be contacted via in-house “chat” opportunities for advice and support. After two years as an Editor, I have doubled the revenue of Families Upon Thames, I work around my family and from my own home. I can be entrepreneurial and I can be creative. And I have something solid to show for it every two months. It’s the best job I’ve ever had!

Linda Stone, editor of Families Upon Thames

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