Brian and Ramona Long needed a Second Act for their career paths. After living and working in New England, the Longs packed up and headed down South to Kennesaw, GA, a northern suburb of the sprawling Atlanta metro area. They were keen on the idea of exploring the entrepreneurial route, but really had no idea how to go about it. They needed someone to step in and explain the process and navigate a new path for their future. 

FranNet’s Leslie Kuban worked with the couple to present multiple business concepts for them to consider. In April of last year, they bought Money Pages, a B2B franchise that specializes in publishing local magazines with dozens of promotions for local businesses in their community. Today, the Longs are another example of those in the franchising world who are thriving through Covid. Below, Brian and Ramona remark on their incredible journey so far and what advice they have for others considering an entrepreneurial path…

On Career Transitioning:

BRIAN: “We spent over 30 years in the food business with Coca-Cola and Ramona spent many years in education and early childhood development. Now we’re both full-time with Money Pages. We’re both children of small business owners and understood what kind of commitment it takes to be your own boss, so to speak. We kind of both had the same entrepreneurial dream. With Ramona’s background in teaching and my background in sales, we wanted to combine our experience and own a business together. We ended up being a perfect fit for Money Pages.”

How They Found Their Perfect Franchise:

BRIAN: “During our assessments with FranNet, we each had to write down what we loved individually, then separately. Leslie Kuban then cross-checked these lists and found the common denominators that appealed to both of us equally. I don’t think we’d have ever chosen Money Pages on our own. But the process FranNet takes you through is a system where you’ll find the real business you were meant to run. You might not be the big VP or Big Shot you were before, but you’re not working for someone else, either.”

RAMONA: “We really like people—getting to know them. And people generally like us. We get a chance to work in our local communities and give back to them as well. Money Pages ended up being the perfect franchise for our work-life balance.”

Covid Hits:

RAMONA: “It really hit a lot of other small businesses much worse than us. Thankfully, the corporate support from Money Pages is unparalleled and they came through with some amazing advice and programs for their franchisees. We were able to pivot to help our clients pause campaigns or change up messaging to continue. The first month was a little nerve-wracking, but the next month we rebounded. Direct mail became very important due to the circumstances. We’ve actually managed to grow what we offer and provide to clients, building a deeper relationship than we could have before. We’re thriving.”

Advice on Franchising:

BRIAN: “Everyone struggles with the leap. The leap of faith, right? It’s risky, painful, and stressful, but it’s worth it. You go from working for ‘the Man’, to working for yourself.”

RAMONA: “When you work for others, you’re at the mercy of whatever changes are happening to the organization. As a franchise owner, to not have that constant level of stress is amazing. When your family needs you, you now have the flexibility to be there for them—no matter the circumstances. When you decide to go into franchising, be open-minded and honest with yourself about what it’s going to take to run a business of your own.”

On Working with FranNet:

RAMONA: “FranNet are the experts on franchising. If you’ve never started a business of your own, you’re not an expert. But FranNet is. You may not end up running the business you thought you would. But if you’re open and honest in your assessment, their advice is spot-on. Because it’s based on the preferences you’ve shared during the process.”

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“Thriving through Covid” is FranNet’s new series of inspirational articles featuring positive news, business owner profiles, success stories, and educational updates—all of which demonstrate the resilience of the franchising industry. We want you to know that even during this uncertain time, franchising can offer you an alternative path forward—and a new opportunity to achieve success through business ownership. 

Check back with FranNet twice weekly for new articles and let us know when you’d like to begin an entrepreneurial journey of your own!