Q&A: Does the Post Office Franchise in the UK?

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post office franchise

The Post Office is one of the biggest and most important businesses in the UK. It is the largest retail and financial services network in the UK, with 11,500 outlets more than all the UKs banks and building societies combined. But does the Post Office franchise? Lets find out.

Around 17 million people visit their local Post Office every week, as the business has a wide-ranging customer base and high levels of public trust. In recent decades, it has expanded its offering to provide a wide range of different services. Customers can now:

  • Send and receive post
  • Collect and return online deliveries
  • Pay bills
  • Do e-top-ups
  • Transfer money via MoneyGram
  • Organise house, vehicle and pet insurance and life assurance
  • Manage mortgages and ISAs
  • Apply for a Post Office credit card
  • Buy a range of stationery, newspaper and food products
  • Access their bank (over 95 percent of customers can do this)

Does the Post Office franchise?

Yes. Entrepreneurs who would like to be a part of this major British retailer can open their own Post Office branch with its franchise model. Keep reading to find out more about this unique opportunity.

History of the Post Office

The Post Office has a rich history dating back more than 360 years but did you know it was founded by Charles II? It was initially called the General Post Office, or GPO, operating across England and Wales before branching out to the whole of the UK.

Although the business was established in the 1660s, it wasnt until 1793 that uniformed postmen first started delivering letters. London became the base for the Post Office, as the first purpose-built mailroom was constructed in Martins Le Grand in 1829. It was 400 feet long and 80 foot wide. In 1837, the postage stamp was brought into circulation and, in 1852, the first pillar box was set up.

In the 20th and 21st centuries, the GPO underwent more changes to resemble the business we know today. In 1969, it shortened its name to the Post Office, before becoming the Post Office Ltd in 2001. In 2012, the Post Office Ltd severed its connection to the Royal Mail Group and then modernised the brand, extending its opening hours to appeal to current consumers.

Starting a Post Office franchise unit

The Post Office has two different franchise opportunities for budding entrepreneurs: The Franchise Opportunity and The Property & Franchise Opportunity. The first gives investors the chance to add Post Office facilities to their existing business. Then, the Post Office can modernise and complement the business already in operation.

With the Property & Franchise Opportunity, the investor applies for a leasehold or freehold to buy a premises and launch a stand-alone Post Office. There are two models on offer: the Post Office Main Branch, a dedicated store with a full range of products, and the Post Office Local Branch, which incorporates Post Office products and services into a thriving retail business.

Whichever model you go for, you (and your employees) will attend regular training sessions. Youll also be responsible for hiring team members, promoting and selling Post Office products and, ultimately, the success of the branch.

Did you know? Around 17 million people visit a Post Office every week.

How long does it take to get started? Well, once youve decided to go ahead with your Post Office franchise, it can take up to a year to launch the store. This is because the Post Office carries out checks to make sure youre a suitable franchisee. In the meantime, youll need to develop a detailed business plan.

The first step is to register your interest online. Once youve done this, the Post Office will get in contact with you, asking you to fill out an application form. You will subsequently be assessed and asked to attend an interview. If youre successful, youll start looking for a great location to set up your branch if you dont already have one! The final step is to fit out the store and organise the launch.

Becoming a Post Office franchisee: The Post Office has a lengthy history and positive reputation in the UK, so it can be picky about who it welcomes on board. For this reason, you should carry out research into the obligations of a Post Office franchisee to make sure youre the right fit.

As a postmaster, you should be passionate about the community and comfortable listening and talking to customers and team members. Your employees will be looking to you for guidance, so you must be able to motivate them to excel at their job. Finally, a good eye for business is key. If you can recognise potential business opportunities, youre on your way to becoming a successful postmaster.

How much you need to invest: The Post Office covers all costs related to buying and installing equipment, and training staff as long as your business plan is realistic and promising. To do this, the company invests up to £45,000 on a match-funding basis for main branches. For local branches, the sum is slightly lower, at £10,000, but this should cover the stores new facilities, including counters, point-of-sale terminals and signage.

Not only does the Post Office eliminate any franchise fees that would usually be paid by the investor, but it also contributes to the installation of the Post Office interior, paying for the Post Office counter and any other equipment. On top of this, the company provides training and support to ensure the growth of the business.

What you get for your investment: The Post Office provides everything a franchisee could possibly need to get off to a flying start. This includes a monetary contribution, as well as its positive reputation and adaptable business model. Whats more, if your first Post Office branch sees success, youll have the option to open up a whole string of branches. The business is keen to encourage profitable and efficient franchisees to maximise their success, which is why it closely considers applications for further stores.

Join the Post Office

To find out more about the Post Offices investment opportunity and see available territories, visit the business franchise page here. Or, to find other retail opportunities, check out the Point Franchise directory.

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