N2 Publishing is growing its business under its franchise model, nearing its first full year.
The Wilmington-based company, a publisher of customized neighborhood magazines, switched to a franchise model in late 2016. Today, the company has grown to more than 700 franchises nationwide.
“At this time, we have more than 750 franchises in 47 states,” said Katherine Daniel, director of human resources and marketing at N2 Publishing.
There were several reasons the company moved to a franchise model, Daniel said.
“The main driver behind this was maintaining brand standards. With more than 900 monthly publications across the United States, it's important that each team member is confident in the product they represent, knowing that the quality of the publications is consistent across the country,” she said.
The company was founded in 2004 and has since grown significantly from its Wilmington roots, where Duane Hixon, CEO and co-founder, began the company from home.
N2 Publishing is now located inside a 32,000-square-foot building at 5051 New Centre Drive, a space the company opened up in 2014.
The company employs more than 250 people and has grown by 24.8 percent in the the number of Wilmington-area employees so far this year, she said.
N2 Publishing has been ranked on Inc. Magazine's 5,000 list of the fastest-growing privately held companies for seven years in a row.
Today, Daniels said the franchising model is presenting a consistent product and opportunities nationwide, she said.
“Mostly, franchising just meant that we had to institute performance requirements to ensure brand standards. We think it's gone well because the model has a track record. It's a turn-key operation, with a large support system,” Daniels said.
This year, the company has waived the franchise fee to help garner market share, Daniel said. At this time, the company is evaluating what its 2018 fee will be, if any.
"Less than a year in, it's probably too early to see the direct effect franchising has had on company growth. But, like anything in business or life, if everyone in an organization is performing at a high level and contributing quality work, then success is more likely. We're anticipating that this switch to franchising is going to mean more growth and, therefore, more opportunity for our team," Daniel said.