245+ Franchises and growing!
ACFN Welcomes 3 New Franchisees
Year End Review By Jeffrey Kerr
After completing the move to our new HQ in July/August of 2015 we performed a comprehensive review of our business through the end of the year. We learned a lot and implemented several new focus areas to pursue better quality and higher volume business that should have a real positive impact going forward. More on that below – first I would like to recognize our top performers:
Top performers for 2015
#1 Scott R & David Z– 51 ATMs
#2 Bryan & Bonnie D – 49 ATMs
#3 Brian S & Daniel F – 46 ATMs
#4 Marco S – 45 ATMs
#5 Michael & Kristen D – 39 ATMs
#5 David A– 39 ATMs
(1)Franchisees with the most ATMs installed and operational as of 12/31/2015.
Most profitable franchise(2)
#1 Marco S CA
#2 Mario M & Angelo T NY
#3 Michael & Kristen D MD
#4 David A
#5 Scott R & David Z
(2)Based on total income paid from ACFN to each of these franchises.
Special recognition – highest organic growth!
Bryan & Bonnie D added a total of 14 locations in 2015 through organic growth (from their own leads activity and not including any purchases or transfers) reaching a total of 49 ATMs in operation as of 12/31/2015. Bryan was very active in identifying placement opportunities and worked well with our marketing team to secure contracts. Great job guys - we look forward to your continued growth in 2016!
Congratulations to all the top performers in each of the categories above. We appreciate your effort and investment in the success of your ACFN business. We look forward to working with you to continue to grow your ACFN business and achieve new highs in 2016!
2016 – Higher volume & better quality
Following our comprehensive review and heading into 2016 we instituted several new campaigns. In addition to consistent attention to all drops and location types these campaigns are designed to increase our focus on and allocate more time and resources to pursuing best-of-breed locations.
Raising the bar – to increase both volume and quality of placements we need to focus on areas within our market where we have competitive advantages. One of those areas is providing ATM services to groups. Because groups have multiple locations spread over a large geographic area smaller more local ATM providers that operate at a low cost and can be very competitive on profit share cannot bid for their business. This eliminates what can sometimes be a very tough competitor and limits competition to large companies that typically have a much higher cost of operation giving our franchise model a key advantage. In addition competitors are not local so they can’t personally meet with decision makers and competitors have to use third party service companies which always results in higher cost and lower quality of service. This is an area where we can really differentiate ourselves so we now have a dedicated sales position specifically for groups and are busy building a list of prospective groups to pursue. We are doing a lot of data mining for both hotel groups and retail groups and already have a few dozen proposals out for review. To start the year on a strong note we are expecting a signed agreement for a group of 50 hotels in the next few days and we are also already in the process of deploying ATMs on a trial basis with a new major retailer that has hundreds of locations. We will keep you informed as things develop.
Cream of the crop – as you know ACFN is the largest provider of ATM services to hotels in the US with more than 1,250 hotels in our portfolio and more joining every month. Hotels have been and continue to be a focus area for us along with other high value locations such as franchisee designated “Dream 100” and other high value retail locations. We are working to further increase our market share in these key areas and specifically to accelerate competitor replacements by adding the following:
- Increasing the volume of calls hunting for ATMs that are currently out of order. All qualified hotels and all “Dream 100” and other high value locations with competitor ATMs will now receive an increased number of calls to determine if their ATM in working properly. When an ATM is out of order that information is referred to our marketing department so they can follow up and work to initiate a conversation to secure their business. All out-of-order events are retained as a history for each location building a service record for each high value location over time. Relating this information to location managers has proven to be an effective tool and has helped us replace competitors at key locations so we are increasing our efforts in this area.
- For all cream of the crop hotels (more than 300 rooms) that have competitor ATMs or in a rare occasion don’t have an ATM we collected and verified names of GMs and email addresses and are preemptively sending a competitive proposal. Each decision maker then receives a call from a member of our marketing team to make sure they know who we, what we are offering and work to start a conversation. We want to make sure that all decision makers at all hotels know who we are, and that we are top-of-mind (the first company they think of!) when it comes time to make any decision related to their ATM service. This preemptive reach-out program is a Branding effort and has already helped us secure multiple locations including just last week a 561 room hotel that did not have an ATM. You read that correct - a 561 room hotel that did not have an ATM - unbelievable. If there is one of these jewels in your area make sure to find it before a competitor does!
Last but not least I want to encourage each and every one of you again to partner in your success. ACFN corporate still accounts for 90% of all new leads generated while all franchisees together account for only 10%. Leads turn into placements and a successful placement is enormously profitable and valuable to you as a franchisee so make sure to look for opportunities in your area and send in any and all prospective locations you identify. Looking forward to working together to make 2016 our best year ever!
Work Hard - Work Smart – Do It Now!
CEO & President, ACFN
Franchisee Review | It all started with one drop
I have been a franchisee with ACFN since 2005. Over the years I have had much success working with their marketing team which has resulted in my little business growing to 45 locations. In the last two years I started marketing to some of the locations that I previously rejected due to their external appearance or because they seemed too small at the time. I am writing for this month’s newsletter to share with you how I found these locations and to encourage you to look for similar opportunities to grow your ATM business.
It all started with ACFN’s marketing team. They assigned a little BP gas station to me for a marketing drop. I made the drop and was soon installing an ATM there. After a couple of months went by I received a call from the owner of the BP station. He told me that his sister was having problems with her ATM provider at another store and that it was very busy and always running out of money. Quickly, I made an appointment to speak with her and soon had an ATM installed there. As mentioned before I had in the past turned down similar locations due to their poor outward appearance and this building was in that category. If it were not for all the cars outside it would have passed for an abandoned building. Happily, this turned out to be one of my best locations averaging 300 transactions/month. After a couple months there the owner told me that they needed an ATM at another country store and soon I had installed one there; this one averaging 250 transactions/month. This led to an installation at another country store that is averaging 350 transactions/month.
I think you can see where this is leading. A lot of convenience store owners are family members that own multiple stores. If you provide good service they will continue to use your business and recommend you to other store owners.
The main message I wanted to convey is that there are thousands of gas stations/country stores nationwide and hundreds in your local area that could also be good locations. The best ones to target are country stores that are isolated by terrain and are located just outside the perimeter of cities. I have found these types of country stores/gas stations to be a good market for an ATM.
Note: You can watch new franchisee videos here.