Could I run my own Families magazine?

All editors are mothers with young children who know what they are writing about. Although most had no previous knowledge of magazine production, Families magazines are consistently described by readers as “among the best”. We also meet for social functions, which makes our working relationship very enjoyable.

Running a franchise from home can come with a lot of distractions

Working from home can come with a lot of distractions

What is the work about?

Publishing your own Families magazine for the area where you live as part of a successful group of franchise publications.

What do you do?

Families Magazines launched their first issue in 1990 and are very popular local news magazines aimed at parents of children aged 0-12yrs.

We report on local news and topics like health and nutrition, childcare, education, parties. Environmental and ethical issues are close to our hearts too. We review days out, books, DVDs and all reviews are done by real mums.

All editors are mothers, so they know what they are writing about. Families magazines are free and only distributed to hand selected outlets like private nurseries and after school clubs like ballet or sports clubs.

We never door drop any copies through front doors, each reader picks up their own copy and all copies are snapped up fast. In fact if we are ever late by a day or two it is not uncommon for drop points like shops to call and ask for them! Quite an achievement for a free magazine.

Investment and earning potential

A franchise costs £6,500 plus VAT. An established franchisee keeps an average £30,000+ profit per year, working part time.

Is there training/support for franchisees?

Yes, each franchisee receives a Franchise Pack covering all aspects of the business. They also get full training. Once up and running franchisees can call the franchisors for advice and support at any time.

Head Office organises themed workshops and meetings for all franchisees. We are all like-minded mums with young children working from home, so we can, and do, support each other.

Why buy a Families franchise?

Running your own business will be rewarding but also hard work. Buying a franchise means you can tap into existing assets and experience, saving huge chunks of time hence saving you money.

Here is what’s included:

  1. Free editorial every month.
  2. Group bookings
  3. You buy a well-established name with a proven record of successful business practice.
  4. Free working documents
  5. A customised software package designed for Families magazines.
  6. Access to non-stop advice.
  7. Your own Families franchise pack (or manual) and full training, including sales training.
  8. A fully functional website on a plate! Website space to develop their own local webpages and revenue.

Related home working business


Duplicating success breeds success. Equip yourself with a framework and procedures that work! “Be confident”!

Families has already proved itself many times over. “I was really surprised by just how much I love doing it. I thought I might get bored and that I’d be lonely, but it’s not turned out that way.” Robina Cowan, Families South East.

We are above all a small friendly and supportive group

All editors are mothers with young children who know what they are writing about. Although most had no previous knowledge of magazine production, Families magazines are consistently described by readers as “among the best”. We also meet for social functions, which makes our working relationship very enjoyable.

Best suited to: Mums wanting to work from home, part time and be available for their children (not work with the children around). Must possess good all round business sense but no previous experience is necessary.

A Families franchisee reports:

Robina Cowan runs her own successful magazine from her home. “I have a family so I am more able to understand what my readers’ interests are, the issues to address etc.”

How many hours do you work?

I work every morning plus some evenings if I have some admin to catch up with or if I have taken some time off to look after a sick child or been to visit something. I used to work 2-3 full days instead.

How does the job fit around your family life?

I work from home. I used to have my office in the living room but I prefer to have it in a separate room now: it is easier to separate home time from business time.

It is fairer to the children as I try not to answer emails instead of looking after them. It’s absolutely brilliant in terms of flexibility: if I wish to take the day off to accompany my child’ class on an outing or go and see their end of term play, I do! I know I can catch up with work in the evening.

What did your investment buy?

Once I had bought the initial franchise, my costs were the Families software, (it’s brilliant!) a new phone line and some bits and pieces.I already owned a computer which was good enough to start with. Artwork can be very memory hungry so I had to upgrade when ads came through.

Do you get support/training?

The franchisors came to my house to help with the actual ‘start up’. Then I was on the phone to them regularly; this included some practice selling adverts on the phone.

It was very scary to begin with but I quickly got the hang of it.

I was also able to speak to the other franchisees for their tips and advice too. Their support was invaluable as they had been there too so they knew the pitfalls. They were so nice and encouraged me.

I have never done any sales before, is it a problem?

My background is media; I used to work in PR and I love writing, I had never done any sales work before. I find that selling into my own magazine is no ‘hard sell’” the magazine sells itself.

When you launch your first issue you mail a sample Families magazine with your mailshot: if advertisers are in the family market they can see for themselves what a great read it is: parents go out of their way to get a copy so advertisers know their ads are being seen!

Several franchisees have sales assistance, ask Head Office for further details as I do not have any, nor do I need any.

How do you make money on your website? When I bought the franchise I automatically got my own website section to develop.

There are already thousands of great articles on the site. All I have to do is to make it work for me: I upload my own articles, make Forums more lively and active, and sell web ads or directory entries.

What is the main advantage about running a Families franchise for you?Definitely the flexibility! I can work the hours that I want.

Also I love the satisfaction it gives me:

  • being able to be useful in the community
  • helping mums with tips and advice
  • providing a good read that will help mums with finding a nursery
  • a school, after school activities, events, health and parenting info
  • I also enjoy reviewing parenting books, videos etc.
  • I sometimes go to press events, or theatre press previews, which I really love.

Overall the feel good factor is enormous.

Are there any disadvantages to the job? It can be hard just before a deadline when everything has to go to the printer, I am tired, my children want to be fed and my husband gets home to an empty fridge…

Would you recommend this franchise opportunity to other Mums? Most definitely. But only if you are organised and really like the concept.

It is hard work and fulfilling but you do need to have your head screwed on as you deal with so many aspects of the business: admin, selling, design and layout, editorial, distribution, PR, marketing plus more. But now I’m established, I have taken on helpers for some of these tasks.

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