PostNet at 20: A Printing Franchise Building for the Long-Term
PostNet CEO Steve Greenbaum on the company’s growth and evolution into a printing franchise focused on business customers
Almost exactly 20 years ago, the first PostNet franchise agreement was signed, and a global brand was born. My business partner, Brian Spindel, and I were in our 20s when we first went into business together, so needless to say, we have learned many, many lessons along the way.
Some of the biggest lessons have come while working to sustain and build the business during tough economic times. The latest recession especially put PostNet to the test, but I firmly believe we’re coming out of it stronger than ever. When I look back at the factors that made PostNet able to weather tough times over the past 20 years, I always come back to three factors that have helped us sustain and grow.
We were prepared to evolve. PostNet began as a pack-and-ship store, where you could ship packages, rent mailboxes, and make a few copies. But our guiding principle from the beginning was that the business would always change with consumer needs and technology. If we had stuck to our original service offerings, we would not be successful today. In business, the competitive landscape is always changing, and you have to be prepared to adapt your services or processes in order to keep up.
We never stop learning. We’re involved with industry groups, both in quick printing and in franchising, where we’ve both served in leadership roles. We attend conferences and events that allow us to “pick the brains” of others who might be facing similar challenges that we are. I also have several business mentors who I know I can go to when I need advice, and I’ve brought in outside experts when I had a problem I couldn’t solve. As a business owner, staying connected and open to new approaches is vital to being able to evolve your business.
We focus on relationships. For us at PostNet corporate, that means our relationships with our franchise owners. We’ve always enjoyed high franchisee satisfaction ratings because we maintain a culture of open and honest two-way communication. For our franchise owners, it means focusing on the relationships with other small-business owners in their communities, and making sure they are always going above and beyond to make life easier for their customers. If your customers really know how much you value them, they’re more likely to stick around, in good times and bad.
And of course, to be in business for 20 years, you have to be passionate about what you do. Brian and I are still personally involved in the day-to-day business of PostNet because this is what we love — working with our dedicated franchise owners to build the PostNet brand. If you truly have a passion for your business, the hours will always be worth it, and you’ll be ready for any challenge business ownership throws at you.
PostNet has more than 700 locations worldwide and has been on Entrepreneur magazine’s list of top franchises each year we’ve been in business. Interested in becoming a franchise owner? I look forward to getting to know you and giving you a chance to get to know us. To start the conversation, fill out a form to download our free franchise report or give us a call at 1-877-373-6734.