Consulting services for opening a mail parcel packing and shipping store can be expensive. That’s why we wrote the book in 2002 and of which many have taken advantage.
What’s the best way to open a mail packing and parcel shipping store? Should you be independent, hire a developer, or go with a franchise? We veterans suggest that you know about Cost, Pricing, Location, Shipping Accounts, Equipment, POS Shipping Software, Inventory, Supplies, Profit Centers, Store Layout, and then make your decision.
Store Opening Expense
Expect a minimum of $35,000 to open a professional store if you are able to do a lot of the physical upfit yourself. Most stores now open for at least $75,000. This includes POS (Point of Sale) equipment and computers, retail displays, and inventory. Of course, this all depends on your “hands-on” abilities, business background, strategy, and where you are located. Yes, there are many variables.
Check your competition on all types of shipments, and then decide on your pricing strategy. Pricing strategy depends upon your target market and your profit centers.
“Location, location, location!” It is important. Make certain that you have dedicated parking spaces for your store since your customers are bringing packages to you. Take heed when looking at what we call a “Power Center.” In general, your target market is the person or company that needs convenience and is not going to a major shopping center on their way home.
Contact FedEx to become a FASC (FedEx Authorized Ship Center). Your representative may tell you conditions that apply. UPS ASO’s (UPS Authorized Shipping Outlets) are “grandfathered,” which means that you may be able to obtain an ASO account if you buy an existing store which has ASO status. Contact Retail Shipping Associates at http://www.rscentral.org for a DHL account, the world leader for international shipping. Also visit RSA to inquire about USPS programs.
POS/Cash Register Systems
The current major POS (Point of Sale) software (cash register) programs for packing and shipping stores are PostalMate, ShipRite, and ReSource. Each has their great points and flaws. Call each for a demo and ask questions. For example, can the POS support you if you are located in Hawaii?
Of course, buy a general box inventory that works great for most shipments. When buying your corrugated box inventory, keep in mind that box makers normally state the inner dimension of a box. What do the outer dimensions mean when shipping by a carrier both dometically and internationally? Buy boxes by knowing what outer dimensions can normally be shipped under certain carrier dimensional, oversized, or international size rules. Consider stronger (double-wall) corrugated for your larger boxes and flat sheets to reduce your possibility of damage.
Know what your community needs with services and products. We have had stores that did a great business with snacks and mailings while another mostly did large freight. Other profit centers that bring the big income now are custom packing and large freight. Know how to price right and give great customer service to stay in business now!