PostNet Franchise Review: an Interview with Bill Martindale
How an entrepreneur found success, hope for the future and the love of his life as an owner of PostNet marketing services franchise
Bill Martindale, PostNet marketing services franchise owner in Sturgis, Michigan, made a big change to go into business for himself back in 1996. Working retail for 10 years and in a factory for six years fueled Bill’s passion for entrepreneurship, and then his family circumstances tipped the scales.
“In 1992 and 1994, I lost my parents, and I realized that I needed a big change,” Bill says. “I had a ton of experience, and I wanted to do something else.”
On a family trip to Las Vegas several years before, he had noticed shipping businesses popping up across the local community.
“It had stuck with me, and so I looked into the opportunity. I came across PostNet and was immediately impressed by Steve Greenbaum (CEO and President of PostNet) and his visionary leadership,” Bill says. “They didn’t have an opportunity in 1995, but they reached out a year later. I was able to work out the financial wherewithal to go into business for myself. PostNet was the fresh start I needed.”
PostNet marketing service franchise evolves to stay ahead
Since Bill opened in 1996, PostNet has evolved into the premier marketing services franchise in the United States. Refocused to meet the needs of the small business owner, PostNet now has a range of services that includes graphic design, full-service digital printing, direct mail, signs, 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 individual shipping needs of its customers.
“From the beginning, the level of support has been exceptional,” Bill says. “Steve has a vested interest in the success of our stores. We made it out of the Great Recession together, and now I’m on solid financial footing. There’s a lot of camaraderie among the owners; they are there to help guide you and mentor you. I’ve made a lot of lifelong bonds in the network of PostNet franchise owners. This is going to be a great business well into the future.”
A bright future of your own making
Bill’s PostNet marketing services franchise has been a rousing success — even a heart attack in 2005 didn’t slow his devotion to serving his customers. After a short recovery period, he was back behind the counter at PostNet.
“Ever since that date, we’ve been in the top 100 best-performing PostNet stores. The hard work is still paying off.”
Bill credits some of his success to his background in retail, where he learned the value of good customer service.
“I don’t think about retiring, but if I did, I would love to teach a college course in customer service,” Bill says. “I walked into a Kmart the other day, and no one came up to say, ‘Hi! Can I help you with anything?’ At my store, my customers are going to walk away with a smile every single time. Even if they come in to give me grief, they are going to walk out with a smile.
“I instill this into the two employees who work for me: you have to value every single customer interaction. You have to be present and find a solution. They have to leave with the mindset that when they need something, they will be coming back to you.”
As a grandfather to 15 and a successful business owner for 20 years, Bill clearly knows the recipe for success.
“You have to have patience,” Bill says. “You need to be able to listen, and I mean really listen, to your customers. Being your own boss is not for everyone. You have to be willing to put in the hard work after taking the risk. You have to be fair-minded, level-headed and determined to succeed.”
Personal PostNet payoff
And sometimes, you have to put yourself out there.
One day, Bill struck up a conversation with a customer and took a chance on asking her out.
“I had never done that before,” Bill says. “I am always very professional in my interactions with customers, but with her, I felt a connection. She went home to her daughter, who was also a good customer of mine, and told her that the man from PostNet had asked her out. Her daughter said: ‘Mom, you should! Bill from PostNet is the nicest guy in the world!’
“Luckily for me, she took her daughter’s advice. I proposed to her to her on Labor Day weekend in 2011, and now she is married to a PostNet franchise owner.”
Learn more about starting a PostNet franchise
Ready to learn more about PostNet franchise opportunities? You can read interviews with PostNet franchise owners on our blog and learn more about our business model by reading over our research pages. To request even more information, download our free franchise report.