Mark Zimmerman first bought a Mail Boxes Etc. store in 2002 and it was converted to a UPS Store in 2014. He has around 70-100 customers through his store each day. He says that a lot of people don’t realize that when stores are franchised, they’re not usually owned by the corporation that has its name on the sign. These franchises are mostly owned by individuals that live in the local community.
In order to get a store like Mark’s, a prospective franchisee must have some business experience, some liquidity, some investment capital, and be approved by the UPS Store Corporation. To start from scratch in Mark’s area with a UPS Store, a person needs about $200,000 to become a franchisee. He says to have the UPS logo on his store is “immeasurable.” However he also says that he sometimes disagrees with some of the policies that are put into place by the franchiser.
Mark says his particular store is well-known for convenience. He wants people to see it as a one-stop shop for all the business needs that a company may have including printing, copying, business mailboxes, and shipping.
He says the craziest thing he’s shipped is a mounted elk head to Pakistan for which he had to custom-build a shipping container.
Mark learns the most through networking. His network includes other UPS Store owners, his vendors, and owners of other businesses.
Although Mark generally considers himself a good leader, he realizes that he isn’t perfect and does have his shortcomings.
“I’m too hard on people and I don’t have enough patience. I just expect too much all the time, plain and simple, and I realize it after the fact, too often, rather than before the fact.”
He says outside of those moments, he gets along with his employees and others very well.
Mark cites attention to detail as one key factor in running his business. Although some may view his methods as over-the-top, anal, or even a case of OCD, he feels that his way of doing things is the major reason for the success of his store.
He acknowledges that some parts of his job can be repetitious, but he enjoys what he does because he sees a lot of variety in the work he does for his customers.