a licence overview
running the expost north mail centre
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 Licence you must own the property from which you intend to run the Mail Centre, or be able to demonstrate that you have security of tenure for ten years. It must also have its own street level point of postal delivery ( a front door and letterbox! ) and cannot be part of a multi-occupancy building.
It is for this reason that, even if you are only just exploring the possibility of taking up this home-based business opportunity, 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 licence application page )
your postal address
The primary feature of any regional Mail Centre is its postal address. Designed to be operated from home, a small commercial or retail premises, it's surprisingly simple to adapt any address to make it appropriate for both business and private users. For the North of England territory we have identified, by monitoring web searches and taking numerous telephone enquiries, that an address within the 'M' postcode area would be the most attractive to potential customers.
our existing uk mail centre network
Unlike a traditional Franchise, a Licensed 'territory' is determined by the proximity of a Mail Centre to others in the network, rather than the geographical location of its customers ( who will be from all corners of the planet! ) To protect your market, we will only ever issue ten Licences on the UK mainland, ( illustrated on the map above ) so you will never find another Mail Centre opening in direct competition to you!
The protected territory for our Mail Centre North encompasses all of the following postcode areas;
M, L, FY, PR, BB, OL, SK, WN, WA, LA & CH
working space requirement
Even for a prime territory such as the North of England, 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. Our Scottish Mail Centre, for example, regularly processes large consignments of training shoes for a reseller in the US and has occasionally held and processed as many as 400 boxed pairs at one time.
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, you can call us for an informal chat at local rates on: 0333 789 0011 )
the licence owner
what you bring to the partnership
skills & experience
Although no special skills or previous experience in logistics 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 licencee are; attention to detail, enthusiasm, diligence, attention to detail, self-discipline, attention to detail, the ability to manage time and effort effectively and. . . attention to detail :o)
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 Licence package at no extra charge.
( details of the full package can be found in licence 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 licence 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 licence and operate the Licence 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. Registering sooner will negatively impact your profitability!
( if in doubt, call our licence team on 0333 789 0011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org 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, the time that you will need to devote to operating this home-based business, even in a prime location such as Manchester, is surprisingly little. As a guide, you will need to devote a hour a day for every fifty customer accounts you hold.
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 licence 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.