Millennial Entrepreneur Finds Success with the PostNet Franchise
How the youngest entrepreneur in the PostNet system became his community’s leading marketing services franchise owner
At age 27, John Lorenzo’s PostNet franchise in Sicklerville, New Jersey, is ranked within the top five performing PostNet locations across the country in terms of sales volume. His secret? Though he is the youngest franchise owner in the PostNet network, John wins success the old-fashioned way — with hustle and hard work.
After getting his start with the PostNet franchise at the age of 17 (at the same center John currently owns), John learned quickly that when it comes to being successful, “you get back what you put in.”
“It was my first job,” John says. “Initially, I thought that it was going to be really easy — ‘All I have to do is ship packages?’ After seeing how hard my boss worked as the owner of a small business and how much every customer interaction meant to the success of his business, my attitude changed immediately. I was no longer content with being someone who could be happy simply by being there; I wanted to contribute. I wanted to make a positive difference. When I went off to college at Penn State, my boss would make room for me to work for him during summer and winter breaks. He became my mentor, and I got the idea that I would eventually go into business for myself.”
When John made the decision to end his college career early, his mentor afforded him a leadership opportunity that would shape the course of his life. When he decided to sell the franchise to a pair of absentee owners, John’s former boss recommended that John be given the role of store manager.
“He simply told them that despite my age, I had what it took to grow the business,” John says. “To be honest, we were struggling at first. I started to reach out to other franchise owners and discovered that every successful PostNet franchise owner was heavily involved with the marketing services segment of the business. I can’t say that marketing services solutions appealed to me because of my age (by that I mean, it was a skill-set I completely understood), but I can say that I saw the potential and set to model my store after what I saw the successful franchise owners doing in their stores. I had to become my small business community’s local resource for marketing services.”
Realizing his full potential as a marketing services franchise owner
Under John’s leadership, the center was transforming into the bustling marketing services franchise it is today. In a year and a half, John grew the B2B marketing services segment to 50% of the revenue. When the absentee owners were ready to sell, they came to John first.
“It was very flattering because I was living and breathing their business at the time,” John said. “In a year and a half, I had grown our B2B marketing services segment to 50% of our sales. The business was really bouncing back. I went to every single bank for a loan, but who is going to loan a kid the kind of money it takes to purchase a major business? Luckily, I went to my parents, and they believed in me. They dug into their retirement savings and loaned me the money. It became very real to me at that point because I had to succeed. I had to pay my parents back.”
John hit the streets. He joined his local Chamber of Commerce, he went into every single small business in the area and he joined the boards of several local nonprofits. At the same time, he ratcheted up his marketing efforts to get the message out that his business was the marketing services franchise his small business community could depend on. John knew that no other brand in the area could boast of the range of services PostNet offers: graphic design, full-service digital printing, direct mail, signage, document binding and finishing and ancillary business services, like private mailbox rental and more. Unlike traditional postal and mailbox franchises, PostNet has strategic partnerships with all of the major logistics companies — UPS, FedEx, U.S. Postal Service and DHL — offering a multi-carrier selection, coupled with in-center professional packaging services to meet the shipping needs of our customers.
“I put into practice what I continue to this day; I hustle nonstop,” John says. “I didn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. I knew that my PostNet location was the best resource small businesses had for marketing services in the area. Slowly but surely, our reputation grew. I run my business like a marketing firm. I don’t sell a product; I sell solutions. Our consultative approach to service ensures that whatever our customer’s business challenges may be, we provide the personalized solutions they deserve. When a customer comes in with a new campaign, we start by asking them about the end goal; what are they looking to achieve. We do research, we ask questions and we follow up after the campaign has implemented. We want to make sure the customer has a big return on their investment; we are truly personally invested in our customers’ success.”
A bright future with a worthy brand
Nearly halfway toward his goal of paying his parents back, John continues to find new ways to bring in the customers. He markets constantly, as it is a chance for him to easily show his local small business community the quality of his work. A recent mail campaign centered around the idea of shopping local became an enormous hit with the community, resulting in his biggest month of sales yet as a business owner.
“I’m only getting started,” he says. “I never complain, and I never make excuses. There’s a lot of examples of people who are more successful than you are out there, which means that you can get there, too. My goal is to be the best — to be the top-performing store in the system nationwide.”
John encourages his small staff of millennials to follow his entrepreneurial lead. Outside of work, everyone he employs is turning their own dreams into realities, from managing bands to running local nonprofits. In return, they convert their contacts into PostNet customers.
“As an owner, the most important thing for me is taking care of my staff,” he says. “The average age among us is 23, which means that all of us have a lot of big dreams. I want to make sure that I do everything I can to help them succeed, because the more people you lift up, the more successful you will be.”
Learn more about starting a PostNet franchise
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