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Local News

Tuesday, 3 April, 2012 6:53 PM

Our Town America offers assistance to new businesses in Detroit

Logo credit: Our Town, Inc.

Our Town America logo

 

by Garrett Godwin
ggodwin82@yahoo.com

 

 

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DETROIT -- Our Town America’s program is helping the Motor City escape the financial issues caused by the depression because it is laser focused on helping new movers and local businesses create loyal, long-term relationships. Each month, Our Town America sends new movers a warm welcoming package full of gift certificates from local businesses that allows them to get on their feet after a big move. This is great for new movers as it helps them get acclimated in their new environment and introduces them to quality businesses in the area when they’re looking for new “go-to” options for their daily needs.

On the flip side, it’s excellent for Our Town America’s sponsors, too, because they’re able to reach a new group of potential customers each month when they’ve just come to town. The program works because these new movers aren’t looking to simply redeem a coupon; they’re trying to find new service partners that can fulfill their needs. Marketing services that build those types of relationships are the ones that help businesses build their customer base and power through tough economic times.

How has this organization become more beneficial to the Michigan area now than it was 40 years ago?

"Good question – but the true answer is that
Our Town America’s program is just as impactful now as it was 40 years ago because the program’s purpose never changes," said Larry Neal, Our Town America Detroit owner and Michigan area developer. "It doesn’t matter if it’s 1972, 2012 or 2052, businesses will always need new customers and new movers will always need to find credible businesses with whom to spark new relationships. Even in today’s world of advanced technology, the power of a warm, hand delivered welcoming package hasn’t faded. People still appreciate personalized mail that can truly help them make the tough transition to a new city, particularly when they’re getting overwhelmed by e-mail blasts and pervasive online ads."

However, saying that, technology has helped us get better at Our Town America, too. Though the program hasn’t changed, we have certainly made some changes to our certificates that provide our sponsors with a better return on their investment. We were the first to introduce 2-D barcode tracking in the early 2000’s, which allows each sponsor to track their specific response rates each month, and each of our certificates is printed in full color on high-quality parchment paper.

Long story short – we’re not changing what we do, but we’ll certainly integrate technology that enhances the experience for new movers and our sponsors.

I had to put everything I had, financially and emotionally, into Our Town America when I opened the Detroit location. At the time, I was struggling financially because I had taken early retirement from my 20+ years in corporate America to launch various entrepreneurial ventures and had been crushed by the economy’s downturn. Our Town America means so much to me because, like many others in the motor city, I was hit hard by the depression and Our Town corporate worked with me to give me another chance to be successful.

Let’s just say Our Town America has made it worth the risk to become an entrepreneur. I’ve gotten back to having a sustainable lifestyle and have been rewarded with an opportunity to become an area developer. For myself and other franchisees, this is a rewarding job because you build phenomenal relationships with your sponsors. The business owners really enjoy what this program does for them and they’re thankful for it.

All of the franchisees get along well, too. We’re a diverse group of people, for sure, but each and every franchisee I’ve met or brought into the program are all genuinely good people willing to work their tail off for their clients. Honestly, this is a reflection of the company in general - I can’t imagine a corporate office doing more for their franchisees than our CEO, Michael Plummer, and the team in Pinellas Park, FL.

How does “Our Town America” help our communities “serve the greater good?”

"The answer is simple – Our Town America helps serve the greater good by providing new movers with information they wouldn’t typically receive upon moving to a new town," Neal added. "For example, our welcoming packages include a magnet with important emergency information and other community facts/figures that new movers need to have at their disposal. We serve the greater good because we go the extra mile to make sure new movers feel welcomed and safe in their new neighborhood."

Outside of the qualities listed above, I believe it is Our Town America’s dedication to connecting new movers with high quality and highly reputable businesses that makes us special. Each franchisee does their homework on each potential sponsor and makes sure that their products/services will truly benefit the new movers who come to town. If a franchisee wouldn’t patronize the business themselves, they don’t include the business in their welcoming packages, regardless of how much that business is willing to spend. Additionally, our welcoming packages are category exclusive, so we don’t promote more than one of the same type of business in any of our packages.

Our system works because each franchisee is devoted to delivering the best experience possible for our sponsors and new movers. We love what we do and make good on our promises – that’s why it all works.

For more information on the Our Town America program, call 248-623-3298 or shoot Larry Neal an e-mail at larryn@ourtown.net.

Related Story: The future of Detroit's Belle Isle Aquarium is very bright

 

 

Photo credit: Our Town, Inc.

Our Town America corporate headquarters

 

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