Steve Greenbaum is the founder and CEO of the PostNet franchise. He was interviewed by QP editor Karen Hall. Learn more about PostNet at MyPRINTResource.com/10071637.
QP: Please give us a bit of history and background information on PostNet.
Greenbaum: PostNet is the US and Canada’s first and only “Neighborhood Business Center”. In July of this year, we will be celebrating 20 years in franchising and 30 years in business with over 700 locations in 10 countries, including over 260 locations in South Africa. We started in the early 1980s developing independent pack-and-ship businesses before identifying franchising as a growth vehicle in the early 90s. From the very beginning, we knew that as long as we listened to what customers wanted and needed and made it easy for them to do business with us, we would always remain competitive and relevant.
Today’s PostNet Neighborhood Business Center is a result of the rapidly changing needs of small businesses and busy consumers. We help businesses get online, get found online, go mobile, get social, and thrive in a rapidly changing business environment. Think of PostNet as a full-service printer that can do everything a sign shop can do, with the added benefit of digital marketing and global logistic services.
QP: It seems that in the past few years PostNet’s franchisees have begun to focus more on print services. What is the strategy behind this and how does print fit with your traditional service offerings?
Greenbaum: We began offering print services in the 80s by partnering with companies like Carlson Craft and BCT, so basic print has always been a part of our traditional service offering. In the 90s we took advantage of digital capabilities, and by early 2000 we were keenly focused on our print offering and expansion of our products, services, and capabilities.
Print fits perfectly in our business because we serve such a large segment of small businesses and do so much personal printing through trusted local relationships. The advent of trade-only printers really allowed PostNet the opportunity to aggressively get in the game and compete with literally anyone in the space.
QP: In the average PostNet shop, what percentage of sales is made up by print-related services?
Greenbaum: Our Neighborhood Business Center model is 70 percent print-related services, but we are also experts in packing and mailing services, giving us a unique competitive advantage over others in the space.
QP: What types of print customers do your franchisees hope to attract?
Greenbaum: PostNet is primarily B2B focused and has become a friendly, trusted local resource for businesses, especially small businesses of every size and type. We’re passionate about small business and can provide technology, tools, and support to leverage the power of print and digital through integrated marketing strategies.
QP: What traits do you look for in a potential franchisee?
Greenbaum: We look for dynamic, outgoing team players that are inspired by helping others succeed. Since our model is consultative, ideal candidates are thoughtful, empathetic, and can successfully use the tools, training, and support we provide to build a business by helping others in their community.
QP: Why would you recommend joining a franchise over going into business independently?
Greenbaum: In a franchise like PostNet, you don’t just have the support of an entire organization that is focused on helping you increase revenue and improve profitability—even though that’s a big part of the why—you also have national programs and incentives, fellow franchisees to share best practices with, and most importantly, an organization that is reliant on your success to succeed.
QP: What was the most important thing you learned from your experience of being on Undercover Boss?