PostNet Franchise Review: Q&A With David Petty
For David Petty, owning a PostNet Neighborhood Business Center with his father has been fulfilling on many levels
David Petty has been an entrepreneur almost from the start. After owning his own lawn care business and dabbling in real estate, he decided to pursue a longstanding dream — a family business that would allow him to work with his father, Jim.
Together, they have helped make PostNet a big success in Central Texas. The father-son team owns a store in Austin and also supports franchisees throughout the region. At this year’s Thrive convention, the Petty’s were honored with the “Coogle Award.”
The Pettys have been named Franchisee of the Year in the past, but David says receiving the Coogle Award is even better. The award is named after Dennis Coogle, a beloved franchisee who died of ALS and whose dedication to the brand and the success of his fellow franchisees made a huge impact on PostNet.
This is David’s story:
Tell us about your background. What were you doing before PostNet?
I started a mowing business in middle school. It got bigger in high school, and I turned it into a real business during college. Then my wife was transferred to Austin, so we sold that business.
I’ve always had the entrepreneurial spirit. I’ve always liked to be my own boss, and I also wanted to have my own business again. My dad had just retired, and he was bored. So we discussed owning a franchise to start with a proven concept, support and name recognition.
How did you find out about PostNet?
We knew we didn’t want to go into the food business. We knew someone who owned a pack-and-ship business who was doing well, so we looked at all of the different pack-and-ship models. Mail Boxes Etc. never got back to us. We didn’t get a good vibe from Postal Annex. We narrowed it down to PostNet and Pak Mail. Pak Mail was nice, but they were more into shipping freight. When we met with Steve and Brian at PostNet, we saw their vision. It was a lot of shipping, but we knew they were headed in the direction of print.
What makes PostNet a valuable business in the community?
Churches and schools come to me, and I know that I’m really helping them grow. They come in for printing, but then I can talk to them and find out what their problems are and how we can help.
How large is the growth opportunity for your business?
There’s a lot of growth opportunity, and we’re not even near what we can do. We are continuing to grow. I’m also not relying on PostNet to do the work for me. We have the name recognition, but it’s up to me to go out, get all the business and bring it back to the center to do a good job.
Who are your customers?
We have a pretty good split between business-to-business and business-to-consumer. We’re focused on growing B2B sales, specifically to small to medium-sized businesses. Home-based businesses are also great. Some of my largest customers happen to be restaurants.
Nonprofits have also been pretty good for us. We offer a 15% discount to all nonprofits. We’ll do their work at a discount, and we sometimes trade to have our name on what they’re doing. We meet many people at nonprofit functions who then bring their business to us. A lot of people shy away from nonprofits because they seek donations, but we just came up with the discount across the board.
What does your typical day look like?
My father, Jim, supports other franchisees in the area, and I’m in charge of the center. I’m a morning person, so I come in to the center and get a lot done before we get busy. Later in the day, I meet with my production manager and see what needs to be printed. I meet with my marketing director to find out what we’re doing for social media and what networking events he’s going to. I help customers throughout the day. Once our graphic designer comes in, I see what he’s working on. I talk to my manager who runs the counter and make sure everyone has what they need. I’m basically here for a huge portion of the day. I like to make deliveries so that I can connect with the customers and hand finished materials to them.
What strategies have helped you grow your business?
We’re really big into networking, which helps us get the bigger print business. My marketing manager probably attends five networking meetings a week. We also have a huge social media presence. We were doing Twitter and Facebook before people were even talking about it.
What do you enjoy about the business?
I enjoy meeting other small business owners and helping them grow their business. I like to hear all of the customer stories, like the families sending packages to their kids in camp or college. I like all of the connections and friends that I’ve met. It’s neat to be involved in the community and know that they depend on me being here.
What is the leadership and support like from PostNet?
It’s been great, which is the reason we picked PostNet in the first place. When we met Brian and Steve, they totally sold it. The people there are always willing to help. I think that if I had picked another franchise, I wouldn’t be as happy as I am now.
What does PostNet ownership helped you achieve?
It has helped me get out of my shell a bit. I’m able to go out and talk to more people. That’s been a good thing for me, as I’m more reserved. I’ve learned so much about business in general while working with my father. He has so much knowledge. Also, I’ve learned so much from PostNet headquarters. I wouldn’t have had that knowledge if I continued in my lawn business.
Would you recommend a PostNet franchise to someone else?
PostNet is always looking for new avenues of business. I would recommend it to someone who has no trouble going out and working in sales. People skills are a must. You need to be able to talk to different people and figure out their needs.
Learn more about PostNet
PostNet offers a full range of digital printing solutions for small businesses, as well as graphic design, direct mail, websites, email marketing and shipping. We have been consistent innovators, which is one reason the franchise has successfully evolved from a pack-and-ship innovator to a leader in the digital printing industry. We have been ranked a top franchise opportunity by “Entrepreneur” magazine for 20 years in a row and also have won consistent awards from Franchise Business Review for franchisee satisfaction.
To learn more, fill out a form to download our free franchise report and start a conversation. Want to learn more first? Check out our research pages for the answers to many questions about the PostNet franchise opportunity, and visit our blog for more franchisee interviews and news. We look forward to talking to you!