Just Between Friends Franchise System, Inc’s featured franchisee this week is Amber Post. Amber’s sale is JBF-Lee’s Summit, which is a suburb Southeast of Kansas City. It includes cities such as Independence, Blue Springs, Harrisonville, Raytown, parts of Kansas City and more. Lee’s Summit is basically Eastern Jackson County, or also could be referred to as South of the River on the Missouri Side.
“Lee’s Summit is an active community with an excellent school system, great parks (including a massive city pool that rivals any waterpark) and a low crime rate. We hold our JBF sale at the Pavilion at John Knox Village,” says Amber. “It’s versatile 24,000-square-foot building accommodating many events such as wedding receptions, business meetings and our sale!”
How did you get started with JBF?
I was first introduced to JBF as a shopper in Tulsa, OK in 2001. My daughter was 6 mos old, and a friend told me of an event that was going on that she’d heard about called Just Between Friends. So I went, and was amazed by what I found. I wasn’t a garage-sale shopper, but with my husband still in college and me just out of college, money was tight. This was a perfect fit for us. After that first sale, I started consigning and it made such a difference to my family’s budget. After moving to the KC area in 2003, I was still making the trek back and forth to see family in Tulsa, but would schedule those trips around JBF sales, as I still consigned and didn’t want to miss the chance to shop and make money! After a few years of that, I realized the KC area was truly missing the JBF experience and decided to start one in Lee’s Summit.
When did you first start to feel your JBF franchise was successful?
Is my sale successful now??? I set the bar so high for myself that my goals are hard to reach. But that’s ok, because even when I don’t reach my goals the sale still fares well.
I think I started to realize I might be successful when I went to JBF Conference in 2009. Not because I won Franchise of the Year that year (though that was fun!). But it was when other sale owners came to me for advice, picking my brain because “whatever it is you are doing, it works”. Before that, I was just keeping my nose to the grindstone, trying to always make my sale better. Knowing others are watching what I do (including my competition) is both flattering and scary! When I give advice to other JBF owners, I always try to preface it with “this is what works for me,” because the sale is what you put into it, I don’t want to promise that the things I do will work for everyone.
Other times I have a feeling of success is when I overhear moms talking about JBF, or a mom will have a conversation in the grocery store with another mom, and they recognize each other from JBF, or I get an email or Facebook post from someone out of the blue, talking about how our Just Between Friends sale made a difference in their lives. That’s when I feel my sale is most successful, when moms I might not even know are sharing the sale and what it means to them.
With social media outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, so relevant in how we communicate what effect does these media outlets have on your business?
Of the social media sites, Facebook definitely has the greatest potential audience reach for us. Many stay-at-home or work-from-home moms use it as a way to connect with the adult world. I’ve found that Facebook puts a face with my name, and allows us all to be closer so when I see people at the sale I wouldn’t have (in the past) even recognized, now I know their face, their kids names and that they spend the majority of their time at the baseball fields. It puts my face, name and personality in front of them, too, so when they come to the sale they know me by that, not just by my name at the bottom of the mass emails they receive.
Facebook does have an effect on my business, but I don’t think the number of “likes” you have determines your success with a JBF sale. There’s so many other factors that go into having a successful sale, and spending a huge percentage of your work-time on FB won’t add up to dollars in your pocket. But using it effectively is a great way to communicate with your participants, especially during the event.
When and where do you hold JBF events?
I have 3 JBF Franchises!
JBF Lee’s Summit I’ve owned since it’s inception, in 2006. We’ll be having our 11th event at the Pavilion at John Knox Village in Lee’s Summit at the end of August.
I also own Just Between Friends-Owasso, which is a suburb of Tulsa. That sale became available in 2009, when my best friend and owner moved out of state. We’ll be hosting our 6th sale with that Franchise this fall.
Finally, we (my husband, Frank) and I were given the opportunity to buy Southwest Tulsa’s JBF sale, a new territory designed for the Jenks, Tulsa Hills, Sand Springs, Sapulpa and Glenpool area. We’ll have our first sale this September in the amazing and beautiful Glenpool Conference Center, Sept 9-11th. We’re so excited about this sale; it’s the first time since 2006 I’ve had a “baby” (first-time) sale to attend to. So the dynamics and challenges are completely different than what we’ve dealt with in years.
No matter the size, “success” or age of a Just Between Friends sale, what I’ve learned is the same as life. You get out of it what you put into it. Making the sale a priority in our lives is what has been the key to our success, and has made me able to be a self-employed, successful, work-from-home mom.
For more information about Just Between Friends Franchise System, Inc and an event near you, visit www.JBBFSale.com.