applying for a franchise
a guide to the process of owning a mail centre
read through this site thoroughly
We have tried to make this prospectus as informative and representative as possible, without burdening it with unnecessary detail. Please take the time to browse through the pages, read the questions we are most often asked about owning a Mail Centre, and consider the financial implications that apply particularly to Scotland.
If you have the character and skills we require and would like to find out more, please read on.
submit a premises assessment
We need you to tell us about the premises from which you would operate the business; its current postal address and type of property, ownership status, immediate environment and vehicular access for deliveries, all of which will help us to assess its suitability for purpose.
Whether you would run Scotland franchise from a spare bedroom, converted garage or outbuilding, please take five minutes to complete the short premises assessment form at the foot of this page.
visit our local mail centre
Because this opportunity has arisen due to circumstances forcing us to re-assign an existing Franchise, your next logical step would be to pop in to our Mail Centre in Dunfermline! Meet the current licence holder and discuss the business from the perspective of a Franchisee who has been operating the Scottish Mail Centre for almost two years.
experience it for yourself!
We'll then invite you to visit the Philbeach mail centre for an 'experience day', so that you can see the business working holistically, and we get to meet you in an informal interview setting.
Arriving at Philbeach by 7am, you will shadow our original in-house mailroom until around 10am and observe all mail handling procedures, from log-in to despatch, in real time. You'll also get to meet the management and support team, watch ProPost in action and see the hardware and equipment we supply. At the end of your visit you will take away a copy of the franchise contract to read carefully and, if you are not 100% confident in your understanding, have each clause explained to you by an independent legal professional.
Because of the travelling time from Scotland, we suggest that you book into a local B & B for the night before. Ask us for a recommendation!
cool down and contemplate
After your visit to Philbeach you will almost certainly be excited, enthused, and keen to grasp the opportunity, but taking on an expost franchise, especially one with such an extensive footprint, is a huge step for you and a major risk for us, which is why we will then ask you not to contact us for seven days.
If you decide to go ahead, you'll be making at least a five year commitment, not just to expost, but to every one of your mailbox customers, who will rapidly come to depend upon the address you have provided. Imagine the collective inconvenience and cost involved if hundreds of your customers, many of whom will be abroad, are forced to change their mailing address with their banks, building societies, insurance companies, the DVLA, HMRC and every one of a dozen or more other correspondents.
You must take time to stop, think, and consider the implications carefully and analytically before committing to the next five years.
made the decision?
take legal advice
At the end of your experience day we will have given you a copy of the Franchise Agreement to take away with you. We strongly suggest that you take this contract to a legal professional of your choice, and have them explain each of its terms to you.
select a launch date
Because training is carried out in our working mail centre at Philbeach, it's very important to reserve your place as soon as you make the final decision to proceed. Even though the residential course is limited to one Franchisee ( and partner or additional staff member, if appropriate ), hotel accommodation is at a premium here in Pembrokeshire, especially during the summer months.
contract & deposit
A non-refundable reservation deposit of £10,000 + VAT ( £12,000 ) is payable on signing the contract. This deposit helps to defray our costs in manufacturing your mailsort furniture, creating the various Scotland Mail Centre websites and compiling the rest of the franchise package ready for a launch immediately after training. The remaining balance of the Franchise fee is payable 30 days prior to launch.
countdown to trading
the schedule leading up to your launch
45 days to launch
On receipt of your reservation deposit and signed contract, we will liaise with the Highways department of your local council to make any additions that are necessary to your address, such as adding a house 'name' and having this included in the Royal Mail, the council and emergency services databases.
The scotland.expost.uk website portal will be reoptimised with your Mail Centre address and we will begin the very delicate, and time consuming, process of migrating existing customers from Dunfermline, to the new location.
Because this is a re-assignment, those customers who have elected to transfer with scotland.expost will be helped to inform correspondents of their new virtual address.
30 days to launch
Over the following 30 days we will send several letters and packages to the Centre premises in order to familiarise your delivery postmen and women, and courier drivers, with the amended address.
The balance of your Franchise fee becomes due.
14 days to launch
All the hardware elements of your franchise package, including sundries, consumables, the PC & printers, parcel safe and mailsort furniture will be delivered to your Centre's premises, ready for assembly. The PC is pre-configured to allow us to test your secure connection and access to ProPost, so you must have a live broadband service in place from the day of delivery.
If you do not feel confident in setting up the PC system, assembling the mailsort frames or installing your parcel safe, you will need to make arrangements in advance with an appropriate local tradesperson.
A new Facebook campaign for Scotland will be launched and your Centre will reappear as an option in the registration form, so that active sales of mailbox accounts can commence. It usually takes around two weeks for mail to begin arriving for new accounts and we want you to be processing post as soon as possible, to support and reinforce your residential training.
7 days to launch
Travel to Philbeach for five days of initial training. For a day by day breakdown of the training course, read the franchise package page.
The new national Mail Centre for Scotland is fully reopened for business!
The property and address from which a Mail Centre operates is a crucially important factor in our decision to allocate a territory, especially one as valuable as Scotland. As a Company, we must commit to supporting your business for at least five years at the premises, so assessing its suitability is the reason why we ask you to provide the following information.