The franchise enjoys a reputation for offering customers reliability, value for money and convenience. It has unrivalled experience and expertise in bespoke packing and shipping and is especially successful in the antiques sector, where it is recognised as the UK’s leading supplier, backed by 30 years’ global experience.
Those with more unusual backgrounds include Laura Mills, previously a Woman Police Officer for 20 years, and before that a Superintendent Registrar. Laura was the youngest Woman Superintendent Registrar in the country when she was appointed aged just 31.
"Laura said: "Franchising offers so many advantages over starting a new venture on your own, not least the franchisor’s comprehensive training and also knowing there is always help available when you need it."
Husband and wife partnerships are very successful, for example Martin Roberts, former CEO of a worldwide transportation company, and his wife Carole. Franchisees for almost nine years, their Plymouth-based business has grown significantly. They said: "Neither of us would ever want to work for anyone else or rejoin the rat race again."
Increasingly, many established franchisees are buying second or even third stores, such as the current "Franchisees of the year" Faraz Ahmad and Osman Ahmed.
Still in their 20s and franchisees for less than two years, Faraz and Osman already own five central London stores in Belgravia, Camden, Oxford Circus, Victoria and Earls Court".They were off to a flying start with their first store, in Belgravia. "We saw immediately how well the model works, its strength in a niche market and the benefit of having a well known brand name," Osman said.
Part of our surprise in winning the award was that we really didn’t think we deserved it," Faraz and Osman commented.
There was an excellent system in place, we listened to all the advice we were given by our franchisor and then just followed the system. We employ a brilliant team who do a fantastic job, enabling us to concentrate on growing our business.
"We’re learning new things every day, which makes this a fun business to be in. I can’t see myself ever getting bored with it – in fact we love Mail Boxes Etc.," Faraz enthused.
MBE measures franchisee achievements and successes in a variety of ways, including their "mystery shopper surveys" which very accurately access all elements of the customer experience. Faraz and Osman’s stores all achieved the highest scores, contributing to their accolade as the most outstanding franchisees in MBE’s UK network of 125 stores.
Chris Gillam, who heads MBE’s franchisee recruitment, said: "Faraz and Osman have worked extremely hard to get their business on such a sound footing, so quickly. We recognise and admire their drive and enthusiasm and their 'can do' attitude. They really deserve their success."
Mail Boxes Etc. is seeking more people to join them. No previous experience is required because MBE’s comprehensive four week training programme covers everything they need to know. It includes all aspects of running a small business, from sales and marketing and man-management to practical aspects, such as book-keeping.
The training and support package includes site selection and design, shop fitting, equipment and initial local marketing. Typically, the investment starts from around £60,000 of which up to about 70 per cent can usually be financed (subject to status) by one of the leading banks, all of whom have excellent working relationships with MBE. Chris Gillam commented: “Previous career is less important than the right attitude. We seek people who are enthusiastic, energetic and open-minded. They need drive and the determination to succeed.”