a franchise overview
running the expost mail centre in scotland
the mail centre premises
its size, postal location, address & infrastructure
Because it is fundamental to the operation of the business, in order to be considered for the Scotland national franchise you must own the property from which you intend to run the Mail Centre and, to avoid the same conflict that has forced its reassignment ( see below ), it must be 'residential'.
. . .the reason for reassignment
It is precisely because our current Scottish Mail Centre operates from a 'commercial' property, and therefore no longer meets the DVLA's address criteria for the registration of driving licences or V5C documents, that we are reluctantly offering this prime territory for resale. We have tried offering an alternative, secondary, address for use only with the DVLA, but this added complexity has significantly affected both new sales and renewals, leaving Scotland lagging far behind all of our other Mail Centres.
Even if you are only just exploring the possibility, your first step should be to check the suitability of your proposed Mail Centre address by submitting a Premises Assessment request. Please note that no obligation is inferred by submitting this form!
( you will find the premises assessment form at the foot of the franchise application page )
your postal address
The primary feature of any regional Mail Centre is its postal address. Although designed to be operated from home, rather than a commercial property, it's surprisingly simple to adapt a residential address to make it appropriate for both business and private users. For the Scotland Mail Centre we have identified, by monitoring web searches and taking numerous telephone enquiries, that an address close to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee or Aberdeen would be the most attractive to potential customers.
our existing uk mail centre network
Click the postal address examples below to visit each Mail Centre's portal website
Unlike most traditional Franchises, exclusive 'Territories' are determined by the proximity of the Mail Centre to others in the network, rather than the geographical location of its customers ( who will be from all corners of the planet! ) We will only ever have eight regional Mail Centres in the UK, as shown on the map above.
working space requirement
Even for a prime territory such as Scotland, including provision for the bespoke modular frames that are used to sort and store your customers' mail, the Mail Centre could be operated in one room of around 220ft² ( about the size of a standard double bedroom ). Additional storage space will, however, almost certainly prove to be an advantage in securing larger commercial accounts. The current Scottish Mail Centre, for example, has regularly processed large consignments of training shoes for a reseller in the US, with as many as 400 boxed pairs held on the premises at any one time. This extremely valuable contract was another victim of the property's commercial status.
In addition to Royal Mail postal deliveries, you can expect several courier drop-offs and collections each day as your business matures. It is important that delivery vehicles are able to reach the premises, and are not prevented from loading or unloading due to parking restrictions or regular congestion.
Because ProPost is hosted on our secure cloud servers and accessed via the internet, reliable broadband with transfer speeds of at least 2Mbps is essential. You will also need a landline telephone and a mobile as an alternative means of contact.
( if you have any questions, call us for an informal chat, at local rates, on 0333 789 0011 )
the franchise owner
what you need bring to the partnership
skills & experience
Although no special skills or previous experience in the logistics sector is required, a basic working knowledge of PCs ( using a browser, email etc. ) and a general familiarity with the internet is essential. However, the character traits we value most in any prospective franchisee are; enthusiasm, diligence, attention to detail, self-discipline and the ability to manage time and effort effectively.
We have specifically designed the hardware and operational protocols necessary to run a regional expost Mail Centre so that the opportunity is open to all age groups, people with limited mobility ( including wheelchair users ) and those with a hearing impairment. Unfortunately, the need to read addresses on incoming mail may preclude candidates with limited vision, depending upon the nature and severity of their condition. If, for whatever reason, your condition prevents you from transporting outgoing mail to a Post Office, the Royal Mail offer a daily collection service which we will incorporate into the Franchise package at no extra charge.
( details of the full package can be found in franchise package )
We are charged with the security of the mail, so we require all candidates to give us permission to request a simple DBS ( formerly known as a CRB ) check. If the franchise is to be held by a Company, we will need this permission for all Directors and Beneficial Owners.
trading status & vat
The successful candidate may hold the Franchise and operate the business as a sole trader, partnership or Limited Company.
It is not necessary to register for VAT until, of course, your turnover exceeds the mandatory threshold, currently standing at £85,000. Premature registration will negatively impact profitability!
( if in doubt, call our franchise team on 0333 789 0011 or email email@example.com for their advice )
dedicating the time
how many hours you'll need to commit
Because all sales, marketing and support effort is entirely borne by our head office team at Philbeach, the time that you will need to devote to operating the national Mail Centre for Scotland is surprisingly little.
In most areas of the UK, Royal Mail deliver before noon, Monday to Saturday. Courier deliveries, however, can arrive at any time of the day, often as late as 7pm. This needn't cause a problem because, within the franchise package we provide a steel parcel locker that is almost universally considered by couriers as a 'safe place' in which to leave deliveries, especially out of hours.
As you will read in the national website at mail forwarding, in the section marked 'timelines', we log-in and forward mail the day after it is delivered to the Centre. Your schedule will, therefore, be dictated by the time of the last Royal Mail collection at your local Post Office, usually around 5pm, and means that mail processing could be comfortably managed in the afternoons.
As a rule of thumb, you will need to dedicate one hour each weekday for every 50 accounts held at your Centre.