Meet Amanda Crow, a female Navy veteran who is working towards purchasing her second franchise amidst the evident lack of credit. To open this second PostNet franchise, Amanda is utilizing Sprigster, the nation’s only donation-based crowdfunding platform focused exclusively on franchising. I recently featured the launch of Sprigster’s “Boost a Hero” program to help returning veterans raise the needed capital to realize their dream of franchise business ownership.
Amanda is a retired, disabled veteran who served as the only woman specials ops parachute rigger for the U.S. Navy for the past 9 years. This 26 year old widow has served overseas and has committed so much of her life to the U.S. Navy — from being deployed and away from her family to losing her husband while she was overseas. Amanda’s husband, Special Warfare Boat Operator Senior Chief Petty Officer Jeremy Crow, died February 22, 2010 while deployed at war.
In order to purchase her second PostNet franchise – a business center that specializes in the printing, copying, and shipping needs of businesses and busy consumers – Amanda needs $90,000. In just two days of having her story broadcasted on Sprigster, Amanda has already received $1,600 in generous donations.
Here’s Amanda, in her own words, making her crowdfunding pitch for her second PostNet location.
Franchise Chatter (FC): What other franchise concepts did you consider prior to opening your first PostNet location?
Amanda Crow (AC): I looked at similar franchises, like The UPS Store, but from the business model to the camaraderie amongst franchise partners, I found the opportunity with PostNet to be more intriguing.
FC: What made you choose PostNet over all your other options?
AC: I liked that PostNet seemed to replicate the family atmosphere that I had grown accustom to in Naval Special Warfare.
FC: How did you finance your first store?
AC: I borrowed against a CD to build credit in my LLC.
FC: Have you been satisfied with the performance of your first store so far?
AC: It is meeting the expectations I set once I opened my store. I have plenty of room for growth.
AC: There are many things that surprised me, like taxes, city regulations, unexpected CAM (common area maintenance) expenses for my shopping center.
FC: What have you done to establish your first location in the community?
AC: I personally am very active in my community and I bring PostNet with me everywhere I go! We volunteer and sponsor with Wounded Wear (a non-profit founded by a wounded Navy SEAL), Ramps Across America, Ocean View Little League, Team River Runner, and the Wounded EOD Warrior Foundation. I do extensive marketing in my area, ranging from door-to-door to businesses, mail outs, newspaper advertising, and I am the President of the Ocean View Business Association.
FC: Which profit center has been your biggest source of revenue so far?
AC: My biggest source of revenue has been in-printing. We offer such a wide variety of quality printing products from business cards to banners. Any business can come into PostNet and get all of their printing and marketing needs in one location. We are business owners too, which can really add perspective.
AC: My military background has given me that “it needs to get done attitude.” Sometimes I’m here until 10pm working on something, but I know it has to get done. It’s also helped me with managing people. I have such a broad background with my military career that I normally have at least one thing in common with everyone that walks in my door.
FC: Why do you want to open a second PostNet location so soon after opening your first location?
AC: I want to open another one because I want to continue to grow. I’m not good at being stagnant. I thought about opening a satellite office, but this came up instead. It’s a rare opportunity to get to follow behind your mentor.
FC: Do you have a specific location or territory in mind for your second location?
AC: My second location is in Virginia Beach and has been there for almost 8 years now. I don’t plan on moving the store. It’s in a great location.
AC: My typical day starts early with a cup of coffee in my hand and my dogs under my feet. I check my email, put out any fires and get ready for my day. I go into PostNet and check out the work load for the day. If everything is under control, I go out and market door to door. Then, I go to school. On my way back from school, I pick up paper or do more marketing. I get back to the store at the end of the day to check in on things, pay bills, and put out more fires.
FC: How many employees do you have?
AC: I have three employees.
FC: How do you plan on running the two locations?
AC: I plan on spending my mornings at my Norfolk location and the afternoon at the Virginia Beach location. I will also have to put myself on a strict schedule.
FC: Please make your pitch detailing why a potential donor should help you fund your second PostNet franchise.
AC: Small business is the backbone of America. It’s what makes America the best place to live and work. Crowdfunding is a new and wonderful thing available for all types of people looking to do almost anything! I am a particularly worthy cause because I am a veteran, a hard worker, a business owner hoping to grow my business. I’m focused and dedicated to running my business and being successful. Not only for myself, but for all veterans that come after me, this is an incredible thing. It’s a rare opportunity that normal everyday people get the opportunity to help someone start a business. So go to Sprigster.com and contribute any amount. I can’t wait until this is successful and other franchises get on board. Keep Amanda Going, Keep America Going!
To help Navy veteran Amanda Crow open her second PostNet location, please click here.