Consulting services for starting a postal package packing and shipping business can be expensive. That’s why we wrote the book in 2002 and many have benefited from it.
What is the best way to start a postal packaging and parcel shipping business? Should you be independent, hire a developer, or go with a franchise? We veterans suggest you understand costs, pricing, location, shipping accounts, equipment, POS shipping software, inventory, consumables, profit centers, and store layout, and then make your decision.
store opening costs
Expect at least $35,000 to open a professional business if you’re able to do much of the physical setup yourself. Most stores now open for at least $75,000. This includes point of sale (POS) equipment and computers, point of sale displays and inventory. Of course, this all depends on your practical skills, business background, strategy and location. Yes, there are many variables.
Review your competition for all types of shipments, then decide on your pricing strategy. The pricing strategy depends on your target market and profit centers.
“Location, location, location!” It is important. Make sure you have dedicated parking for your store as your customers will bring packages to you. Pay attention to what we call a “power center.” In general, your target market is the person or business that needs convenience and doesn’t go to a big mall on the way home.
Contact FedEx to become a FASC (FedEx Authorized Ship Center). Your representative can provide you with the applicable terms. UPS ASOs (UPS Authorized Shipping Outlets) are Grandfathered, meaning you may be able to obtain an ASO account if you purchase an existing business with ASO status. Contact Retail Shipping Associates at http://www.rscentral.org for a DHL account, the world’s leading provider of international shipping. Also visit RSA to inquire about USPS programs.
The current major POS (point of sale) software programs (cash registers) for packaging and shipping businesses are PostalMate, ShipRite and ReSource. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Call anyone for a demo and ask questions. For example, can the POS support you if you are in Hawaii?
Of course, buy a general box stock that works well for most shipments. When purchasing your inventory of corrugated boxes, remember that box makers usually provide the inside dimensions of a box. What do the external dimensions mean when shipping by freight forwarder at home and abroad? Buy boxes knowing what outside dimensions can usually be shipped under specific carrier dimensions, oversize or international sizing rules. Consider heavier (double wall) corrugated for your larger boxes and flat sheets to reduce the risk of damage.
Know what your community needs with services and products. We had stores that did great business with snacks and mailings, while others mainly handled large shipments. Other profit centers now bringing in the big income are custom packaging and big freight. Know how to set the right price and provide great customer service to stay in business now!