Owning a business is something several people dream of. Some shy away from taking that first step towards starting one, while others will make their dream a reality. Setting up and running a successful business involves a lot of work. It can be even harder to do if you go about it alone. This is why franchising can be an option.
Steve Chambers is the Vice President of franchise and business development at UPS. His role is to grow the UPS store network through the opening and selling of new franchises. From the development side, they have a corporate retail solutions group where they connect with UPS and their contacts. Steve talked to Smart Hustle about franchising and how it could benefit entrepreneurs and their small businesses.
Why should you join a franchise?
First, the UPS Store is a franchise. According to Steve, if you’re thinking of starting a small business, you should consider franchising. By doing so, you get unlimited guidance from the franchisor and it goes beyond that. Franchising ensures you have access to an already existing blueprint for setting up and running a business.
“You’re in a business for yourself, not by yourself.”
Steve brought up this important quote to emphasize that you don’t really have to go about things alone.
UPS would be a great start for anyone looking to start a small business. Some of the reasons why you should join the UPS Store include that:
- The UPS Store offers products that every community needs, from shipping to packaging, mailing, and printing.
- The UPS Store enjoys the backing of a reputable brand and operational support. It was named by forbes.com as the number three rated franchise. “We’ve been number one in our category for 30 straight years, “says Steve.
What sets UPS apart?
According to Steve, almost every time a customer walks into a UPS store, they’re doing something important to them. Whether it’s sending a care package to a loved one, or printing marketing material for their small business. They could be there to get something notarized, among many other activities.
All these set the owners up to be problem-solvers for small businesses. That’s what sets UPS apart. People who are interested in this can look it up on upsfranchise.com.
What are some differences/ similarities between owning your own store and being part of a franchise?
According to Steve, there are similarities between the two. One similarity is that for both, you need to start by doing your due diligence. Decide on the specific industry you’d like to go into, then figure out where you’ll get financing capital. If you’re going to get into franchising, you need to research several brands to find the best fit.
“Every franchise has its own disclosure document with 23 disclosure sections which will tell you most of what you need to know about the franchisor. It is also important to talk to the people in the industry that you’re targeting.”
Should you decide to be part of the UPS store, the due diligence is to talk to the existing owners to find out what it’s like to be a UPS store owner. Find out what time they start and finish work. You need to be aware of the key metrics you’re looking at. This is the same thing you would do if you were starting your own business.
That said, starting your own brand is difficult compared to franchising. With franchising, the brand is already there for you. If you decide to build your brand alone though, you have to be resourceful. You have to know where and how to find information.
You can cultivate a network of people and resources that can help you. If you have a new small business, then the UPS Store can be one of those resources that could help you.
“We’re an essential business. We’ve remained open throughout the pandemic. We’re really a one-stop-shop for small business owners. Not only do we provide great products and services for SMBs, but we also have a small business blog on our website.”
This business blog is a hub for useful information to assist small business owners in overcoming hurdles. The challenges that only they can understand. The blog has tips that they can immediately use whether they’ve already started or are just preparing to start.
As a small business owner, you can’t do everything by yourself. You have to think of the accounting, HR, and marketing sides of the business. UPS Store can serve as a back-office for your small business.
You have to know your strengths as a business owner and work towards getting better where you are weak. However, always ask for help when there are many available resources.
Some leadership lessons and advice to small business owners?
When asked about some of the lessons he has learned on leadership in his role and any advice, Steve says:
- “It’s important to empower people. You do that by teaching them to be resourceful. “According to him, they try to create a culture where people bring in solutions to the table. They should be able to talk about how they’ve applied these solutions before during meetings.
- It’s important to train your team appropriately and give them the tools and resources to do their job daily. You need to outline the policies and procedures and how they can make decisions that make the organization better.
- You also need to provide a system to follow. This system is what creates the consistency that you experience across the 5000 UPS stores in the USA and Canada.
What’s the problem-solving mechanism in franchising?
Steve explained that the UPS Store has a franchising agreement that serves as the basis for everything. In it are the standards and procedures that franchises follow including the designs of the centers. Through this agreement, the franchise can avoid or solve conflicts.
Steve adds that you should never make exceptions on compliance. That the UPS is always open to ideas but the basics have to be followed. It is this system that has kept them successful for over 40 years. They focus on their core strengths and evolve when they have to.
For example, in 2020, they unveiled a new design for their stores after extensive research. This was to reflect what the customer wants. It was also to ensure they keep providing that world-class experience.
What have been Steve’s highlights over the years?
When asked about his roles and highlights of his career overtime, Steve had a lot to say.
First, he’s been part of the organization for over 20 years. His recent role is on the sales side but previously, Steve was part of the sales group in non-traditional development. In this role, they would place UPS stores in hotels and convention centers.
Before that, Steve also worked in operations. Here, he worked with franchisees in the field as an operations consultant. In this role, he’d directly help businesses grow while upholding the organization’s standards. Steve also worked for UPS after college.
In conclusion, Steve emphasized that UPS Store is always proud to support growing businesses. There are minority business incentives and first-time buyers can get up to $15,000 off. There are veteran incentives for former military men. This is a way of thanking them for serving the country. They get up to $10,000 off.
Joining the UPS Store is truly a great way for you to start your business.
Listen to Steve’s entire interview below.
Sophie Atieno has been working in marketing and communications for four years. She has experience working in the advertising and health industries mostly performing digital marketing roles for the organizations she has worked for. She is also a freelance copy and content writer and has been blogging for over four years. In her free time, she enjoys filming and video editing. Her most recent position was as the digital manager at a social and digital marketing agency in Nairobi, Kenya.
The post Why You Should Consider UPS and Franchising When Starting or Growing Your Business appeared first on SmartHustle.com.
Source: Smart Hustle