PostNet Franchisee of the Year Looks Forward to a Bright Future
Veteran owner opens up about PostNet’s evolution from a printing franchise into the local partner for her community’s marketing services solutions
When Sharon and R.C. Foster were announced as the PostNet Franchisees of the Year during the brand’s annual Thrive Conference, Sharon said that one word came to her mind: grateful.
“When we were announced as PostNet’s Franchisees of the Year, it validated all of our hard work,” Sharon says. “It’s one thing to be a successful part of your own community for more than a decade, but to be acknowledged by the PostNet family as meaningful members of the franchise network touched us greatly. We love this company, our franchisee peers, the executive team — we’re all in this together.”
The husband-and-wife team decided to join the PostNet franchise family more than 12 years ago in Charleston, South Carolina, after R.C. was downsized from his role as a sales representative. Rather than return to Corporate America, R.C. convinced his wife, who at the time was a full-time mother, to go into business for themselves. R.C. had become a fan of the iconic printing franchise during his travels across America, and he was certain that the PostNet business model would be successful in Charleston. On the day of their grand opening, the Fosters were greeted by 30 customers, and Sharon knew that she had found the place where she belonged.
“Working side-by-side with my husband for more than 12 years has given me much more than I could have possibly imagined,” Sharon says. “I always knew that R.C. was going to make the business a success, but I didn’t know what I could contribute because my only experience had been as a stay-at-home mom of our two children. I knew how to run a family, and I knew how to look after people. I decided to run our business in the same way — to treat our customers with kindness, to get to know them, to ensure that they left us happier than when they walked in. After our first day in business, it was clear that our store was going to be my second home. I had found a place for my talents, and that was empowering.”
Evolving from a printing franchise owner into the local community’s partner for marketing services solutions
Since the Fosters began their new lives as PostNet franchise owners over 12 years ago, PostNet has evolved from a humble pack-and-ship business into a forward-thinking marketing services franchise that specializes in providing professional solutions to the 28 million small businesses in the United States. We offer a full menu of services, including 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.
“We have watched and benefitted from PostNet’s evolution from a printing franchise into marketing services,” Sharon says. “Our sales grew from 30% for marketing services a few years ago to 50% today. We really are our small business community’s local partner for marketing services solutions. Businesses of all types come to us for help, advice and high-quality work. They are usually amazed at what we can do for them. We do menus, fliers, you name it. We even help our small business owners with their marketing budgets — we get very involved, we establish relationships with our customers and keep track of their successes. If they thrive, so do we. It might sound like common sense, but as a small business owner, the best way for us to advertise is to make sure that every customer leaves us with a smile. If they do, not only will they come back, but they will tell their friends about us.”
PostNet is way out in front of our competitors in the rapidly growing marketing services industry; the Titanic-sized brands aren’t nimble, local or authentic enough to be the local partner that a small business owner depends on. The industry has taken notice, and our business model has this year been named a best-bet investment by Franchise Direct, Franchise Gator and Entrepreneur magazine. The demand for new PostNet centers is bigger than ever, and PostNet has become the go-to resource for millions of small businesses.
“I am certain that we will be the leading brand in the marketing services space,” Sharon says. “Steve (Greenbaum, Co-Founder and CEO of PostNet) has always kept us on the cutting edge. As a franchise owner, we’re really blessed to have his leadership because it is quite rare that a CEO of any major brand was there at the beginning. He is pushing the brand forward, but at the same time, he gives the network of franchise owners a voice in the initiatives that the executive team rolls out. He’s the real deal.”
A bright future with iconic PostNet franchise
Even after 12 years in business, Sharon and her husband still show up to the store every day. As successful entrepreneurs, the Fosters recognize that the value of their blossoming business is entirely the result of how much work they put into it — and they devote their time, energy and talents to meeting the demands of their growing base of customers, one client at a time.
“We still spend 50 hours a week in our store,” Sharon says. “That’s what it takes to deliver the level of service that our customers expect. For us, it’s not hard work — it’s love. We’re building our future together, we’re successful business owners and we’re part of a great brand. How could it be anything other than love?”
Sharon often brings her 5-year-old granddaughter to work with her, who delightfully organizes the counter space and plays in the lobby. Sharon is intent on teaching her granddaughter about the fact that hard work brings a good life, which is the same advice she has for budding entrepreneurs.
“You have to be willing to show up and give your business everything,” she says. “You have to be grateful for every customer, even if they’re buying a 10-cent coffee. If you treat your customers with the same respect you would treat a member of your family, you’re going to succeed. It’s worked for us.”
Learn more about starting a PostNet franchise
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