Are you teachable and are you self-motivated? Those are two critical characteristics we look for in a prospect for a Discovery Map franchise. Time management is another key skill. If you have all three from the get-go, you are ahead of the game. That best explains the success of one of our new map owners, Ethan Unverferth of Discovery Map of the San Juans (Colorado).
The concept behind Discovery Map is pretty straightforward. We produce colorful, hand-drawn maps for great destinations. The maps are a favorite of travelers, second homeowners and even locals who seek impactful experiences dining, shopping, live performances and other culture. Discovery Maps are typically found on display in local stores, restaurants, hotels, transportation hubs and visitor information offices. Online, we are building a site where those keen to travel can learn and be inspired by those inside tips you can only get from an area local. The address is Discoverymap.com.
There’s a lot to our franchise opportunity. In simple terms, each Discovery Map owner sells advertising on the map, works with our production team to publish the map and then distribute it to the locations discussed above. Of course, there is also the usual business stuff: billing, managing vendors, etc.
Many of our owners have found the Discovery Map opportunity to be a great way to leave the rat race of corporate America and ease into semi-retirement. We’ve also had a number of mothers/parents buy a franchise and run the business around their parenting schedules. Other Discovery Map owners have used it to return to their hometown or supplement their current business or day job.
With the variety of stories of owners, we’ve had over the years—Discovery Map has been selling franchises for more than three decades—Ethan Unverferth of Ouray, Colorado represents a first:
He’s our first teenage franchise owner!
That’s right. When Ethan and his father Patrick purchased their map, he was 16 years old and had just gotten his driver’s license.
Other than Ethan’s age, the Unverferths’ Discovery Map journey isn’t all that unusual among Discovery Map owners. While on a family trip to Kennebunkport, Maine, Ethan and Patrick came across a Discovery Map. They loved it and inquired about maps in their part of Colorado. As it turns out, the franchise was available. Patrick, owner of three America’s Mattress locations, thought it would be a good opportunity for his son.
“We homeschool our children. That’s led them to be very independent with their studies and their time. All three have an entrepreneurial nature, Ethan in particular. We’ve seen Discovery Maps around the country on our travels and always liked them,” said Patrick. “Given the seasonal nature of running a Discovery Map and the flexibility Ethan has as a homeschool student, we thought it an excellent business for him to cut his teeth and went ahead and made the acquisition.”
That leads us back to the Discovery Map Big Three.