How do you set up a pack and ship type of business? First things first. You need to find a great location. If you’re way out in the middle of BFE, well, nobody’s gonna go outta their way just to use your postal service, right? So use some common sense. Where’s a high-traffic location that’s got a little strip plaza, maybe with a good “anchor store” on the other side of the intersection? Like a Target or a Circle K or a Whole Foods or something like that?
The area, by itself, has to be able to feed you new customers. Once you’ve got that picked out, number two is, you wanna think about the size of your store. Granted, it’ll depend somewhat on the city you’re in. NYC, for example? Yeah, square feet are gonna be harder to come by. But if you’re somewhere where it’s a little more affordable, you could go bigger and offer additional services. Printing, banners, vinyl wraps, key making, you could sell office supplies, or whatever you’re feeling, right?
Then, third, you need to think about carriers. Ya got DHL for international stuff, there’s FedEx, UPS, and the good old United States Postal Service. Those are the four biggies. Certain parts of the country may have some other special overnight options you can consider as well. But ya gotta get your accounts set up with each of those, which is gonna require some paperwork and some hurrying up and waiting till everything’s approved, right? So factor in about 6–8 weeks for that.
Along with that, fourth, is figuring out which software you wanna use. You can Google the different options and read reviews, but PostalMate’s probably a safe bet. Step five, to start your own pack and ship business, is deciding whether or not you wanna hire any employees or independent contractors to help ya out. It’ll just depend on your schedule, how passive you want it to be, and whether or not you’ve got the money to afford it and the patience to recruit, hire, train, and manage other people.
What else? Step six is, and I kinda already mentioned this, but you wanna think about other products and services, that people will actually spend money on, that you can offer inside your new postal store. Wanna offer flyer printing? Business cards? How ’bout a spinning rack of witty birthday cards people can look at (and hopefully pick one out to purchase) while they’re waiting in line? Put your entrepreneur hat on. How can you make life easier on your customers when they walk in, help ’em kill two birds with one stone?
Seventh and final is all the little things. What you call your store; your branding; your curb appeal; how clean and organized you keep it on the inside; how you greet people; your hours of operation; your ability to solve problems and put out fires when they inevitably happen; any additional marketing you do online, offline, on social media, et cetera, to get the word out; how clever you are about incentivizing referrals and repeat business; just your grit and determination to make this pack and ship biz successful, right?
Oh, and one more thing. I’d encourage you not to go the franchise route. Sure, you’re tapping into a proven system, but damn, they charge you an arm and a leg, and then you’re kinda at the mercy of how they want you to do things. For me, I’d wanna invest as little capital as possible to get up and running, own and control everything, do it all my way, and keep all the profit without some freaking franchisee trying to make my life miserable. But even better than having my own postal store? Is what I linked to below.
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