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If there was ever a way to gauge the economic climate in terms of Housewarmers, then it has to be in potential Gift Bag Sponsor interest.  And the news is certainly encouraging…even exciting.  My goal since mid summer has been to have two new Sponsor signings every month and so far, it’s right on schedule.  As my business builds, there is more enthusiasm in the community and that leads to even more Sponsor interest.  It’s a happy situation.

Best of all, when I talk to some of my fellow franchisees, they are signing new Sponsors, too.  As the economy picks up, I think that businesses are looking for new and different ways to reach potential customers.  The tight grip they’ve held around their advertising and marketing dollars is starting to loosen. With all the hype about social media, I think Housewarmers is right there.  It’s hard to get more social than face-to-face.  I think it’s human nature to want eye-to-eye contact and we certainly fullfill that when we welcome someone at their door.  I love the surprised, delighted looks I get when I say, “No, there is no catch…it’s really a gift.  And it’s for you!”

The Heart of the Matter

Last night I was out delivering Housewarmers Gift Bags.  It’s probably my favorite part of the job.  That’s because I get to see first-hand what this means to people.  Most are confused at first, but that quickly gives way to delight and excitement when they see all the great offers and stuff that someone is giving them just because they moved into the community.  I live in a town of about 25,000 people, so my Housewarmers franchise is pretty small – I deliver 35 bags every month.  Sometimes that’s a challenge, while other times I have to save some names until the following month. Since it’s so small, I personally deliver every one of my bags.  Many of our franchisees with larger territories don’t have that luxury – delivering 100+ bags every month by oneself is not a good idea.  But I really think it’s important to have the personal experience of placing that bag in a newcomers hands – it’s such a great feeling.

I titled this entry “The Heart of the Matter” because that’s what Gift Bag delivery is.  When you are standing on the doorstep and welcoming someone new, it’s the result of your efforts every other day on the job.  It’s the personal connection where the magic happens.  We hear so much buzz about social networking these days, but Housewarmers relies on the earliest form of social networking: simple human contact – something we all crave.  What you do might be as important as helping that person find something they really need for their life in their new home.  Or it might be just as simple as a delightful way to brighten their day. Either way, that’s a pretty good thing.

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