40% of all the world’s mail is processed by the United States Postal Service. Last year they carried 160 billion pieces of mail. Combine that with other shippers like Fedex, UPS, and DHL, and there’s quite a lot of choice out there.
But heading to the post office or freight service is not on everyone’s list of favorite activities. Long lines, high prices, and complicated rules make traditional mail services frustrating to work with. Businesses and individuals will happily pay to avoid the mess of dealing with carriers. Two franchises want to solve these problem by providing fast, convenient, and affordable options for business and individuals so they can get their mail and freight on its way with less hassle.
The U.S. Postal Service has an amazing history, from the Pony Express on, but they haven’t kept up well. Their combination of government and private sector management complicates their systems and makes it hard for them to deliver excellence.
AIM Mail centers provide convenient shipping services with UPS, FedEx and the US Postal Service as well as packaging, stamps, fax service, notary public, mailbox rentals, photocopies, office supplies and other services. Customers who are short on time like to do everything in one place. At AIM they can take care of lots of errands at once and compare rates for the best deals among standard carriers. Businesses can also benefit from having AIM handle their standard outgoing mail instead of having to seal and stamp lots of letters everyday—and this means big, continuous business for AIM franchisees.
InXpress, a similar franchise option, focuses on customer service. They negotiate great rates with major carriers because of the aggregate volume of shipping they handle, and then take care of customers’ needs in a way that a volume shipper can’t. We spoke with one business owner who had never even heard of some of the countries she needed to ship orders to, and was worried about regulations and how to write the addresses correctly. InXpress takes care of these worries for their clients. The biggest selling point of InXpress is that businesses and individuals have one number and one contact person to call instead of having to repeat their information and problems time after time when they call an 800 number. Customers can build relationships with InXpress franchisees and trust that their packages will arrive on time and on budget.
Both these franchises offer great opportunities, even though they approach the issue differently. And both approach shipping and mailing differently from more established services. It’s easy to think that the companies that have been around for a long time have the whole industry sewn up, but there are still plenty of opportunities.
In both cases, the franchisee’s opportunities come from serving a population that isn’t happy with their current options. If there is an underserved segment, a new business that can take care of them will have a golden opportunity.