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To educate students about the different challenges and opportunities associated with small-business ownership, PostNet, America’s first Neighborhood Business Center, has strategically partnered with DECA, the international organization dedicated to preparing emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.
Through the partnership, the around 300 PostNet franchise locations across the US will have the opportunity to work with DECA’s local chapters to develop a curriculum to educate high school and college students about what it takes to succeed in an entrepreneurial endeavor, particularly in franchising. PostNet will sponsor and judge competitive events among students and PostNet’s co-founders will also participate in the Executive Mentorship Program.
“Working with DECA to invest in today’s students provides us with a unique opportunity to further our mission of fostering small-business growth in America,” said Steve Greenbaum, CEO of PostNet. “We’re also providing our franchisees with a tremendous opportunity to work with driven, business-minded individuals to problem-solve, reach new customers, and achieve greater business objectives.”
Greenbaum, along with PostNet co-founder, Brian Spindel, are fully aware of the unique challenges entrepreneurs face when launching and growing a small business – they’ve lived it for nearly 30 years. Greenbaum and Spindel opened their first pack-and-ship store in 1983 when shipping options in the growing market were sparse, and, by 1992, had helped hundreds of entrepreneurs start their own, independent mail and parcel businesses. In 1991 they began the development of the PostNet business and communication center concept and began franchising PostNet in July of 1993.
Today, PostNet has evolved with technology to meet the changing needs of small-business owners and busy consumers as America’s first Neighborhood Business Center. The company attributes its success to constant innovation and working closely with each client to identify their objectives, build upon their ideas, and develop the best solution to meet their needs. This could include anything from designing and printing custom invitations or signage for an important company event, to helping create a brand image for a new or existing business looking to re-invent itself. (PostNet also offers freedom of choice for the customer as a multi-carrier of shipping services including FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service).
“One of the key measurements to our programs success is the ability to connect our teachers and students with businesses and truly provide them with real world knowledge and experiences to achieve college and world readiness,” said John Fistolera, assistant executive director of corporate and external affairs with DECA. “PostNet’s interest in connecting with the schools in the communities where they do business is in direct alignment with our mission and PostNet’s corporate interests.”
In June 2011, Kathryn Morris-Miller of Glass Specialists in Jacksonville, FL was chosen as the winner of PostNet’s national “Boost This Biz” contest. With her win, she received a $15,000 prize from PostNet to help grow her glass repair and replacement company.
PostNet's second-annual Boost This Biz Contest begins May 1, 2012, at www.facebook.com/postnet. Contestants will tell the stories of their small businesses in photos, video or an essay; describe what they’d do with the grand prize; and then get their friends to vote for them. The top five vote-getters will advance to the judging round, and one will win a $5,000 grant, a $5,000 small-biz makeover, and $5,000 in PostNet services.
Morris-Miller was one of 244 U.S. entrepreneurs who entered Boost This Biz in 2011. She started her company with her husband after he lost his job, and in only two years, they built a strong customer base.
Can you give us an update on how winning the contest has helped your business grow and where you chose to allocate the prize money?
When we won the contest, we said that we would like to use the cash and services to expand our business, and we’ve certainly done that. We added screen repair services to our business, which has expanded our client base in addition to opening several new doors. We were thrilled to win this great contest as it boosted our business and expanded our services while also increasing our visibility. Business has increased enough for us to add a new vehicle to our fleet, while also hiring a new employee.
You mentioned that winning this prize would help distinguish yourself from other competitors in the market. How did the services provided by PostNet help you do that?
With a great need for screen repair down in Florida, we’ve been able to get in front of more people which has certainly helped us in growing the business. The people at the PostNet of Orange Park are wonderful people to work with as they’ve helped out in many different areas. One of the first things we did was put our logo on promotional squeegees for shower doors, which boosted our visibility with all of our clients. It was the first of many promotional items that the people at PostNet helped us design including decals for our vehicles, logo magnets, and business cards. We also took advantage of the great shipping services at PostNet, which dramatically reduced our bottom line in that area.
In one sentence, sum up what winning this contest has done for your business.
Winning the Boost this Biz contest helped us add a necessary component to our business as windows and screens go hand in hand, and with the promotional products designed by the PostNet of Orange Park we were able to increase our visibility which resulted in several new repeat customers.
Posted in Entrepreneurship