One thousand dollars from a tax refund was all Lisa Shaw needed to buy her first franchise license and become a Coffee News franchisee. While it has become more expensive to purchase a franchise license of the advertising publication in the last 15 years, Shaw's involvement in the franchise has only deepened. Today, she runs Coffee News franchises in Indiana and Tennessee. Here's what she has learned.

Name:  Lisa Shaw

Franchise owned: Coffee News in the states of Indiana and Tennessee

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How long have you owned a franchise?  

After attending a Coffee News International Conference in January of 2001, I couldn’t wait to get started! I purchased my franchise March 1, 2001.

Why franchising?  

A franchise has provided me not only the framework of an established business model, but also a family of other business owners with whom I can network and socialize

What were you doing before you became a franchise owner? 

From the time that I was old enough to have a job, and until I began my career as a Coffee News publisher, I have held several positions and careers in many different fields, including banking, real estate sales, investment services, golf, restaurant, retail, and wholesale sales!

Why did you choose this particular franchise?

The main reasons that I chose to own a Coffee News franchise are that it was so affordable, and that I could also work from home and be my own boss. I purchased my first licenses with a tax refund!

How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?

I initially purchased two licenses to publish. Back in 2001, a Coffee News license could be purchased for only $1,000! The only other expenses were display stands to place in the distribution locations, business cards, invoices and other miscellaneous items. I easily spent less than $5,000 before I opened for business. 

Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?  

I sought business counseling from my local chapter of SCORE, and I also reached out to the Indiana Small Business Development Center. But the best support that I received was from other, more-established Coffee News franchisees

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