Meet PostNet Franchise Owner Alex Vaynberg
A high-end car salesman brings strong customer-service savvy and a desire to innovate to the table at his Minnesota PostNet franchise
If selling things was easy, everyone would be doing it. That’s particularly true when the item in question has a high price tag. It’s not just a matter of talking up the benefits, but of showing the buyer the differences in quality, as well as the benefits of ownership.
Alex Vaynberg brings those skills, and many more, to his PostNet Neighborhood Business Center in Wayzana, Minnesota. A former Mercedes-Benz sales consultant, Alex knows — and knows how to communicate — the value of quality, high-end services.
How long have you been a PostNet owner?
I signed the agreement in June 2014, and then it took about seven months to get our location up and running. We opened in January 2015. Before that, I was a Mercedes Benz consultant at one of the top dealerships in an eight-state region for 10 years.
Why did you want to change careers?
I always wanted to be a business owner, and those 10 years helped me sharpen my skills. I knew how to handle customer service and how to make sure that customers are “a to z” satisfied, but I also learned a lot about reputation while I was in high-end auto sales. Everyone I worked with took very good care of people who were buying very nice cars, so I learned the right way to sell and the right way to treat people.
How did you find out about PostNet?
When I began looking at franchises, I looked at about 15 and began weeding them out based on my interests and on how they operated. When I got to PostNet, I realized that it had a lot of similarities to what I was doing. It wasn’t selling cars, obviously, but it’s the Mercedes of printing. We are in a very high-end part of town, and so in many ways it’s the same kind of customer. We greet them and make sure their needs are met in a good time frame.
What attracted you to the business?
I liked that PostNet is very cutting-edge and has a unique design. It’s a new thing, and the stores look great. It’s obvious that we know what we are doing. My store is very heavily into custom printing — probably about 80 percent of our total volume. The rest is shipping, so we have a nice mix, and that’s something I like a lot.
Why do small and medium-sized businesses need your help?
I work with a lot of businesses in the area, and their needs are all across the board. I have worked with financial groups, real estate groups, clothing stores and boutiques, restaurants — you name it. From restaurant menus to window clings to signs, it has been different for every customer, and we’ve been able to meet their needs. We even did some canvas pieces for the city. Lately we’ve begun doing presentation booklets, even a 50-page book for a home health care company, plus some mailers. I’m very pleased at the variety of services we can offer, and the clients love that, as well.
I also go out a lot to meet and talk with people so they know what we can do. My background is about moving product, so I can’t just sit here and wait for them to come in the door. I really feed off the client’s energy when they are satisfied, or when I tell a potential client that we can help them. I get a lot of pleasure out of that, and that’s why PostNet is very good for me.
How have you helped a customer out of a jam?
I do have a lot of people come in to see if we can handle a project that another printer could not undertake. When I tell them we can do anything, they are so pleased. They used to have to drive a long way away, or go through a lot of hoops because a designer and printer weren’t in the same location. Now they have us, right here, and can get everything done in one location.
What personality or values do you think are needed to succeed as a PostNet owner?
You need to know how to satisfy a customer — not just by making promises, but by delivering quality work. When someone walks in, find out what his or her needs are and then work on how to meet that need. This isn’t a job where you can sit in a cube or in the office. You need to interact with the customers all day long, and you have to have a strong customer-service focus.
How large is the opportunity for your business to grow?
People are still finding out about my location, so we have a lot of room to grow in that respect. We have some construction going on near us, so foot traffic is a little down right now. When that’s done I think this area will be busier than ever because it is a very high-growth part of the city. In the meantime, we’ll keep working on our marketing and other outreach to raise awareness.
How do the tools offered by corporate help you market your business and serve your customers?
My wife has a marketing background, so she and I are doing a lot of our own marketing. Even so, corporate has been great because without them I wouldn’t know how to run a printing business, much less market one. They have walked us through everything, from the setup and learning curve to calls to check in on us. The training and people behind the scenes are great, not just for marketing but really for every aspect of the business. It’s great to be part of what I think of as a very tight-knit, professional, and efficient family.
How helpful are other franchisees when you have questions? How do you work together?
There are four other stores here, and I have been talking to them a lot. Corporate is always available, but sometimes it’s easier to just reach out here. They have all been great about walking me through the various hoops around getting open, and then getting up and running. Everyone has been unbelievable about helping us.
What does your typical day look like?
I get in pretty early, and then I meet with the graphic designer so we can go through the day’s agenda. I want to make sure that everything’s on a kind of conveyor, so that the work progresses as quickly as it can and stays on schedule. Then I spend part of the day working on sales and marketing, then try to go out and make some calls on businesses and groups who would benefit from what PostNet has to offer. Some days I also go to networking events, because those are great for driving traffic.
What do you enjoy about the business?
I enjoy customer service, but I also enjoy learning about different types of paper, all the aspects of a project. There’s something new here all the time, so it’s fun to do the work that we do. I like gluing, cutting, laminating, making booklets … it’s all fun, and putting something together myself and making it perfect for the customer is very rewarding.
I want to make sure people are satisfied, but I also want to grow a great organization where my employees are happy. I don’t like a workplace where everyone is tense; no one does. If we are all happy and enjoying good relationships here, customers will notice that and they will continue to return and help our business grow.
Would you recommend a PostNet franchise to someone else? Why?
If you are not very outgoing, this will not be for you. If you are positive and energetic, and you can be happy when dealing with people who are trying to get a project done, this is for you. You have to want to be out there working on the business, whether at the store itself or in the community. You have to want to build client relationships. People buy from someone they like, so if you can’t be positive and likeable, then you won’t be very successful. If you are very open and friendly, then you can do well.
Learn more about starting a PostNet franchise
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