Having the right partner for your business needs can ease your workload. Mail Boxes Etc. (MBE) is one such reputed and recognised partner, who facilitates the activities of entrepreneurs, people and businesses, worldwide. Their services include shipping, logistic, communication and postal support. This is particularly useful for private and business customers in small to medium sized companies. The growth of MBE in 31 countries across 1500 locations is proof of its high professional standards. Giuseppe Bergonzi [General Manager – Worldwide Development] tells us how Mail Boxes Etc improves your business productivity via outsourcing needs and processes which are not part of your core activities.
1. How did you enter in the franchise business and where did the idea of your concept come from?
Mail Boxes Etc. was founded in San Diego, California in 1980. The brand was introduced in Italy in 1993 by Graziano Fiorelli as Master Licensee for the MBE brand. Since opening the pilot Center in 1993 the Italian MBE Network has grown to over 500 Centers. Therefore, given this potential, MBE Italy also subsequently acquired MBE Master Licenses rights for Spain, Germany, France and Poland. In 2009, MBE Worldwide acquired the right to develop the Brand at global level.
Today, the group is composed of three brands (Mail Boxes Etc., PostNet and AlphaGraphics), and has a presence in more than 50 countries, with a network of more than 2600 MBE Centers globally. As General Manager of the Worldwide Development, I’m in charge of the expansion of the brand Mail Boxes Etc. globally.
2. What is the story behind the brand’s logo?
The goal of Mail Boxes Etc. entrepreneurs is to constantly find new tailor-made solutions to the daily challenges of their customers. We are solutions enablers. Our #PeoplePossible payoff.
#PeoplePossible is a customer-first approach that incorporates creativity, empathy and a strong customer-focus to meet the needs of our clients. #PeoplePossible relies on the number of locations run by our brilliant network of people and entrepreneurs, the MBE network.
3. What makes your brand different from your competitors?
One of the key added value of Mail Boxes Etc. is the complementarity between the different services we provide, making the business concept really agile, flexible, and adaptable to the singularities of each market worldwide.
It’s also the great power of our global network, which help us to grow quicker.
4. What are the essential qualities that you look for in a franchisee?
The Master Licensee is an Entrepreneur in charge of the introduction of the brand in the territory, and then its growth through the development of a network of franchisees. A successful Master Licensee requires a sincere propensity to develop, coach and motivate an expanding network of freshly- minted entrepreneurs. Hence, a Master Licensee requires a broad range of business assets and personal skills including:
– A sound business acumen
– Intense entrepreneurial drive
– High ethical standards
– A long-term investment horizon
– Excellent interpersonal skills
– And most importantly…passion!
5. How long does it take, on average, for your franchisee to realize their investment?
It varies between 6 to 18 months so we could say that in average our Franchisees break-even in 12 months.
6. What is your best achievement?
One of our greatest achievements is our growth. We doubled the size of our network in less than 20 years (+2600 locations in more than 50 countries globally, as of 2020)
7. How does your business day start?
It generally starts with the on-going support provided to the existing community of Master Licensees. I think support and training are one of the great added value of the franchise business model. Pooling knowledge and improving the skills of everyone in the network helps speed up the acquisition of know-how and revenues. Both the franchisor and the franchisee reap the benefits of training & support.
8. Where do you see your brand in the next 5 years?
We acquired two companies back in 2017: PostNet and AlphaGraphics, turning the brand into a group: MBE Worldwide
In 2020, MBE Worldwide partnered with Oaktree, an American global asset management firm to further grow our competitive position, international presence and financial strength in the next few years.
Thus, I’m sure the brand will keep growing and penetrating high-potential countries. We are looking for Master Licensees, especially in the Middle East and Africa region, where some territories are prone to great growth and potential for a business concept such as Mail Boxes Etc.
9. Any tips you want to impart to our readers who want to be in the franchise industry?
The success of a Franchise is a combination of a myriad of factors. However, I would stress the importance of the support and training provided to the Franchisees, which will for sure greatly influence their performance. Empowering them to emulate the know-how, the processes and the best practices.