Entrepreneurship Drives Demand for Neighborhood Business Centers
September 15, 2010 // Franchising.com // Denver, CO - As economic conditions and high unemployment rates continue to fuel the number of start-ups in America, the trend has allowed PostNet to capture increased market share in the fragmented category of design, print, copy and shipping service providers.
With more than 350 franchises in the United States and 350 more in other countries, PostNet successfully seized an opportunity in the economic downturn to carve a niche as the nation's first, and currently only, Neighborhood Business Center.
"Our 'Cheers-like' culture, where each franchise owner and their employees actually know the names of hundreds of their customers, is unprecedented in this industry," said Steve Greenbaum, co-founder and CEO of PostNet. "Of course there are other providers that print, copy and ship, but it's our culture, the guidance and direction we provide small business owners and the ongoing partnerships we build with customers that are unique to PostNet,"
PostNet franchise owners and their staffs work closely with each client to identify their objectives, build upon their ideas, and develop the best solution to meet their needs. This could include anything from designing and printing custom invitations or signage for an important company event, to helping create a brand image for a new or existing business looking to re-invent itself. (PostNet also offers freedom of choice for the customer as a multi-carrier of shipping services including FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service).
Greenbaum, along with PostNet co-founder, Brian Spindel, are fully aware of the unique challenges entrepreneurs face when launching and growing a small business - they've lived it for nearly 30 years. Greenbaum and Spindel opened their first pack-and-ship store in 1983 when shipping options in the growing market were sparse, and, by 1992, had helped more than 400 entrepreneurs start their own, independent mail and parcel businesses. In1991 they began the development of the PostNet business and communication center concept offering faxing and copying along with mail and parcel services, and began franchising PostNet in July of 1993.
Today, as a global franchise brand, PostNet has evolved with technology to meet the changing needs of small business owners and busy consumers. The company attributes its continued growth to constant innovation and is currently implementing a new "Creative Café" addition to its stores. The cafes, serving as mini showrooms, feature visual-aids including paper and product samples designed to educate PostNet customers of its wide variety of printing and design services and capabilities.
This ability to keep up with technology to serve changing customer needs, along with confusion caused by the consolidation of large corporate brands in shipping and printing, and demand created by entrepreneurship trends, has set PostNet up for long-term, continued growth.
"The merger of FedEx and Kinko's confused the public and created an opportunity for a one-stop Neighborhood Business Center concept like PostNet," said Greenbaum. "Another huge value proposition for our brand is that because our franchisees are small business owners themselves who have marketed and grown their own businesses, they're able to better serve and relate to the needs of the entrepreneurs who walk through their doors. Our franchise owners are rewarded each and every day knowing that they are helping rebuild economic prosperity in America by supporting entrepreneurism."
Founded in 1993, Denver-based PostNet has more than 700 locations worldwide, including over 225 locations in Southern Africa. Each locally owned and operated PostNet Neighborhood Business Center specializes in meeting the design, printing, copying and shipping needs of businesses and busy consumers, with a focus on exceptional, personal customer service. PostNet centers offer full-service digital printing; full- and self-service copying; document binding and finishing; and services like graphic design, computer rental stations, private mailbox rentals and more. They also offer expert packaging services and shipping with UPS, FedEx, DHL and the U.S. Postal Service.