The UPS Store has a world-class training program that includes two weeks of online courses, three weeks of in-store training and two weeks of training at its San Diego headquarters. Of course, the training program is just the beginning. The real work begins once you start operating your individual franchise.
The learning curve for understanding how to operate a successful UPS store is somewhat long. It took us almost a year to understand how to run everything according to franchise guidelines. The process was tedious and took a lot of dedication, but today we understand all aspects of running a successful location at a profitable level.
The million-dollar question every self-storage owner wants to know about operating a franchise such as this is, how profitable is it? What’s the return on investment? We can’t answer that question in general, but the financial barrier to entry is surprisingly low.
The three primary expenses for a traditional The UPS Store franchisee are rent, store build-out and employment costs. As a self-storage owner, you’ve eliminated rent costs, your location will need a minimal facelift to comply with branding requirements, and you already have the employees. Some additional staffing will be necessary due to the volume of business, but the expense is very low.
We typically find it takes about a year and a half for a location to gain full momentum, but the franchise does an excellent job of creating awareness. In turn, the self-storage business will prosper from high traffic counts and facility branding. The UPS Store has been a win-win for my company, and its owners are very pleased with the success. Sometimes it pays to think inside the box.
After 18 months of working with The UPS Store, we opened our second operation in August 2011. We’re opening a third in 2012. We currently have eight people on staff who can operate the business, and we’re prepared for continued growth in coming years.
Kevin Bledsoe is a district manager of York, Pa.-based Storage Asset Management Inc., which provides full-service management, consulting and website-development services to self-storage owners on the East Coast. For more information, call 717.779.0044; visit www.storageassetmanagement.com .