PostNet Franchise Review: Q&A With Scott Harrington
After a successful career in the communications industry, Scott Harrington decided to jump on the opportunity to go into business with his father. They were recently recognized for their success at the annual PostNet convention
Growing up in New Jersey, Scott Harrington spent 18 years supporting companies like AT&T and Verizon. After working his way up in the sales business, Harrington decided it was time to make a change. He now owns a PostNet franchise with his father, Edward. Together, the Harringtons have found success in their PostNet Neighborhood Business Center. For Scott, one of the perks of the family business is being able to spend time with his twin daughters, who are sophomores. Also, since he now controls his own schedule, he can make time for his hobby — playing lead drums in a bagpipe band.
This is his story.
How long have you been a PostNet owner?
My father, Ed Harrington and I, are going into our fourth year of business.
What were you doing before? Why did you want to change careers and do something different?
I was a technology consultant in the communications industry. We had a reduction in staffing and it was time for me to look at something else. My background has always been in supporting mid- to large-size businesses and developing communication services and networking services for supporting those businesses.
My father and I always talked about doing something together. He was recently retired and looking to do something new and exciting.
How did you find out about PostNet?
We were doing some research in the pack and ship model business and looking at different competitors in that space. We came across the PostNet business model during our industry research.
What makes PostNet different?
PostNet is different in the market because we are truly a resource center for the community, whether it’s commercial or consumer solutions. We serve a lot of business in our town and surrounding towns, as well as school districts. We also have a very large commercial business as a customer. Customers like knowing that if they’re in a bind, they have one place to go for a variety of services.
What sets PostNet apart?
There aren’t a lot of options out there for the full spectrum of services that we provide. In our center specifically, our team has more than 20 years of experience in dealing with small to mid-size businesses. Customers know that if they bring their job to us, it will get done right.
How large is the growth opportunity for your business?
It’s endless. When we were looking at the business model for pack and ship, what attracted us to PostNet was the flexibility of the offerings. We wanted the flexibility to look at new services and new offerings. The growth potential is truly a matter of where we want to take the business. Corporate is always willing to listen to different types of opportunities for the brand including web-based services and other things that expand the opportunity outside of the local footprint.
Tell us about your customers.
Our biggest customers are mid-to-large medical facilities and hospitals. Healthcare is a big vertical for us. When one hospital in the area was acquired by another hospital, there was a huge rebranding of their literature, like brochures, postcards and multifold pieces. We worked with them on that project, hand in hand with the marketing team. We made sure everything was done right, on time and to their satisfaction.
We also work in legal and professional services. We tend to focus on companies we have some background in. On the consumer side, we work with local schools, boards of education, townships and communities. The exciting thing is that you never know who you’ll be working with. When one area is slow, the other is picking up. It’s truly a well-rounded business.
What does your typical day look like?
My mornings are typically spent delivering projects, meeting with customers, talking about new projects and working with the team here in the shop. Usually I’m outside 40% of the time and inside 60% of the time. In the afternoon, I work on a lot of quotes.
What strategies have helped you grow your business?
My father and I both have a sales background. We spent some time working with other franchisees in the area so that we could hit the ground running. We worked with Lee Daniels out of Montvale NJ124 to learn about the business and the territory. By the time we opened up, we had a pretty vibrant business. The bulk of our new business comes from referrals. We also do business networking with BNI groups and the Chamber of Commerce.
We are open to work with any request or project. I think that’s the main thing. If you’ve got something that needs to get done, bring it to PostNet and we’ll take care of you.
What do you enjoy about the business?
I certainly enjoy the flexibility of the business in terms of making your own schedule. I’ve got young children, and it is easy to jump in and out as I need to. If you’re interested in being your own boss, then franchising is a great way to do that. I’m responsible for myself and for the success of the business.
What is the leadership and support like from PostNet?
I couldn’t ask for more in terms of support. PostNet is always willing to give a helping hand. We have a very good working relationship. I have the opportunity to express my opinion.
How are your relationships with other franchisees?
We’ve all got good relationships. We share opportunities and business from time to time. Different franchisees in the area have different equipment and areas of expertise. There’s definitely a family environment within the franchisees.
What does PostNet ownership help you achieve?
It’s an opportunity to be the captain of your own ship. My success is only limited by the amount of effort that I put into my business. We’ve been doing very well and we’re excited about the future. We’re discussing expansion and looking at some different models for growth within the next few years.
Would you recommend a PostNet franchise to someone else?
Certainly. There is a learning curve to business, but if you have a business or graphic design background, that is positive. You’ll be more of a consultative partner. Selling is really what’s important in this business. It was the biggest decision of my life and probably the best I ever made. I couldn’t be happier where I am today.