I didn’t have a lot of work experience, so of course I would have concerns. Everything was new to me. Plus, ours was a brand new store in a still-developing area. I had many fears thinking about what would happen if we didn’t succeed or if we couldn’t pay the rent.
Even though the franchisor guided us and told us to make sure we had a specific amount of money put aside for at least six months or so to cover costs, it was still scary. We also had a young family, a home and a mortgage to pay for.
Most of my time had been spent as a stay-at-home mom. Before I got married, the only experience I had was helping my parents with their dry cleaning business. I worked with them on the weekends. Thankfully, what experience I did have was customer-service-based.
There were many things I needed to learn, such as printing, working the computers and shipping, among others. It was a whirlwind. I knew we’d be fine as long as we put in the hours. We went for it!
In the beginning, mistakes would be made, but our commitment to our customers never wavered. Price is not a big issue for them as long as the service is done correctly and on time. If they have a problem, we will always do our best to solve it and help. Saying ‘no’ and turning down a sale is out of the question.
Today, our customers are happy, for the most part. In any business, it’s inevitable for some to be unhappy. We do our best and they are taken care of.
In some respects, we were lucky to have our store opening delayed. At Tammy and Rob’s franchise, we gained hands-on experience with real customers. This was where we first worked together, using the skills we had learned in training.
Tammy and Rob are a husband-wife team, too. I remember asking her how they managed to be business partners and have a healthy marriage, because I was worried.
I didn’t know what would happen to us.
Tammy reassured me. “It becomes normal,” she said. “You’ll have your good days and you’ll have your bad days. And sometimes Rob sleeps on the couch!” Her words gave me a lot of confidence.
Over the years, I’ve always kept that in mind. Today, we have a balance and each of us has separate services to focus on. Nadeem is the expert in shipping and packaging, while my expertise is on the printing side of The UPS Store. Dividing our jobs ensures we are not stepping on each other’s toes. We will help one another out when we can, but we like having our own aspects of the business to focus on. It’s been 10 years now, and I wouldn’t change anything. I am very happy with the way everything worked out.