What Makes a Great Franchisor? Lessons from PostNet Printing Franchise
PostNet printing franchise shares secrets to franchisee satisfaction
Joining a franchise system is a big decision. On the plus side, you gain access to a proven business system, training and support, and an established brand. On the other hand, you have entered into a partnership with people who can either make your life a whole lot better or a whole lot harder.
For a franchise to truly thrive, franchisors and franchisees have to have a good relationship. That’s why PostNet has worked hard to create an inclusive culture that fosters a lot of communication among franchisees and the leadership team. Franchisees communicate with one another in peer groups; PostNet business coaches keep in regular contact with store owners and help drive results; internet forums enable quick sharing of ideas, problems and solutions; and our annual Thrive conference brings together friends and family to celebrate accomplishments, talk strategy and share lessons.
PostNet is led by CEO Steve Greenbaum and President and COO Brian Spindel, who have proven to be savvy businessmen over the course of their 30-year business partnership. But at the end of the day, Steve and Brian are just two guys. They work with more than 300 other smart PostNet franchise owners throughout the United States — and even more abroad — and they are smart enough to know that they can learn a lot by listening.
If you’re shopping for a franchise, take a hard look at whether franchisees are allowed to share ideas — and whether those ideas are allowed to blossom, or are always crushed by HQ.
We’re a franchise, but we have a different approach to the relationship,” Brian says.
Steve continues: “Our objective was to allow some of that entrepreneurial passion to filter into our business, to … be inclusive so that franchisees have a voice in the way we’re doing things, they have an opportunity to influence the direction the company goes and the tools we use, the training we provide. And so there is an environment that feels more open, it feels more honest. There is an incredible amount of trust in my opinion, and it feels like a family.”
Brian: “We wouldn’t be where we are today, 20 years later, without the help of some very, very smart, articulate, involved, capable people — our franchisees. We couldn’t be the organization we are today without them.”
That recognition, and the eagerness to recognize the talent and savvy of franchisees has been a huge source of strength for the franchise.
What PostNet franchise owners say:
Tom Fletcher, Sewell, NJ: I know I can call Brian or Steve and talk to them. I try not to abuse that, but they’ll call back, which is cool. I doubt if I called Fred Smith at FedEx that he’d pick up the phone. Steve is a really interesting guy. He’s got that 30,000-foot look at things, and Brian is great at staying on top of day-to-day. We don’t always agree on everything, but they’re accessible and we can always talk, and they’re always trying to do the right things. They’re forward-thinking and trying to do things to make it better for franchisees to evolve the business. That’s the most important, because things do change. It’s not a static environment.
Kathy Stokes, Steamboat Springs, CO: The collaborative, congenial atmosphere has been a great wonderful surprise and is a reason we’re still here 15 years later with no desire to move on. We know the owners. We know that everyone is caring for each other. The conventions are often more like a family reunion — we have to pipe down to concentrate on what we have to learn, all the great stuff they want to teach us.
Liz Anderson, Wichita, KS: I had a customer that had written a book about rosaries and he had a budget of $5,000, and I had never done a print job of this nature, a hardback book. So I had an owner contact me from Bentonville, Ark. — Dennis Cogan — who helped me understand what I needed to do to get the job. I might not have gotten the job otherwise, but here was another owner who stepped up to help me. I think there is a culture that they have created among the owners — a giving culture that has been huge, and that’s just one of many examples.
Irene Fenolio, Henderson, NV: I don’t think I know of any other franchisors who care as much about their franchisees as Steve and Brian do. I literally see the love. They care and want to see us succeed. Are they perfect? Absolutely not. Do we love every decision they make? Absolutely not. But they care and want to see us succeed.
PostNet is eager to help entrepreneurs start Neighborhood Business Centers. We love small business owners and are excited to help you help the strivers and achievers in your community. To learn more about us and our mission, visit the PostNet franchise blog, fill out a form to download our free franchise report and start a conversation, or give us a call at 1-877-373-6734. We look forward to getting to know you!