MBE…the one-stop franchise for business, postal and communication services
Mail Boxes Etc (UK) is unique in UK franchising. It is the only High Street chain that offers both consumers and local companies a truly comprehensive range of business, postal and communication services – everything from parcels delivery all over the world to mail box rental and photocopying – all conveniently available under one roof. The franchise has over 100 stores in the UK and is part of a global organization that began in the USA in 1980. Today, there are more than 6000 operating centres across the world, all offering a huge range of services to individual consumers and businesses in all sectors.
Tremendous franchise opportunities
The MBE franchise network has also attracted world-class strategic partners such as FedEx, Parcelforce Worldwide, RCS, UPS and Xerox. Together with our partners we are dedicated to providing our franchisees with the best programmes, training and support in the UK franchising industry. And the best is yet to come. MBE is well positioned to take advantage of future business trends. The rapid growth in people working in home-based offices, coupled with the advent of E-commerce retailers and customers, offers tremendous opportunities for MBE franchisees and for our network to develop new products and revenue streams.
The MBE concept - what we do
MBE is unique in the UK. It is the only High Street chain that offers businesses and consumers alike such a vast and diverse range of business, postal, courier and communication services – everything from 24 hour photocopying to postal address rental – all in one convenient location.
And, because we at MBE understand our customers’ needs, we can provide what they want immediately. We offer cost-effective solutions quickly and efficiently, using state-of-the-art technology, thereby saving our customers’ time, effort and money. MBE’s current range of services includes:
Copy and Print Services
MBE offers a wide range of copy and print services, including colour, black & white copies and digital printing; offset printing for business cards and brochures; binding, laminating and other finishing services.
Courier and Shipping Solutions
MBE ships everything from documents to Christmas presents, art to antiques. MBE locations are authorised agents for UPS, FedEx, Parcelforce, TNT and other domestic/international air carriers. MBE can also organise and expertly pack items directly in the Centre and can custom package.
At every MBE, you can rent a mailbox with secure 24-hour access to mail and parcel deliveries. Additional services include mail forwarding and the ability to call-in and check for new mail.
Office Supplies & Packaging Material
MBE also stocks a full selection of products guaranteed to make the running of our customers' businesses easier. From office stationery and supplies to an extensive range of packaging materials - we have got everything our customers could possibly need all under one roof.
Many MBE locations offer computer time rental services and internet access complete with printing and scanning capabilities. Also on offer are additional services, including web site design, telephone answering services and fax sending and receiving etc.
Training and Support
MBE franchise support – unrivalled and all-encompassing
When you join the MBE network, you not only join a system that offers a proven concept and a globally recognised brand, but one that offers support from day one from both the MBE head office staff and the local Area Franchisees. The support given to MBE franchisees includes:
Site location and lease negotiation - Through a combination of unequalled experience and demographic research, we will help you to find the right location for your new MBE Centre. We will identify the best location that puts you in the heart of the local business community but also ensures that you attract the maximum number of individual new customers. MBE also offer assistance in negotiating the essential business terms of the lease.
Centre design and construction - With our Modular Store Programme, you’ll be in business quickly and economically. We design your Centre and manage the construction phase, producing a "Turnkey" Centre.
Franchise training - The MBE in-house training facilities at our head office provide a comprehensive two-week induction programme, plus two days technical training with Xerox. Instruction focuses on operating procedures, staffing, products and services, business management, sales, marketing and customer service. This franchise training progamme is supplemented with 3 weeks hands-on field training in one of our accredited MBE training Centres. Full supporting documentation and manuals accompany this training, providing new franchisees with comprehensive operational guidelines.
Financing assistance and business planning - MBE have excellent and long standing relationships with all of the leading lending institutions, who can assist you with the financing needed to open a new MBE Centre.
Initial marketing plan and start-up marketing pack - All new MBE franchisees are supplied with an initial six month Marketing Plan that is specifically tailored to new Centres. The plan includes details of sales promotions, public relations, publicity programmes and materials that are designed to ensure that your business gets off to a first class start.
Market research - MBE notify you of the results of our nationwide market research programmes and tailor our national marketing initiatives to reflect their findings.
New products and services - MBE are constantly searching the market place for innovative services and new products that will bring you lucrative additional profit centres.
Supplier relations - MBE manage relationships with suppliers, ensuring the best possible deals for you. We always ensure that we pass on bulk buying discounts, creating greater opportunities for you to increase your profits. In addition our suppliers regularly support national promotional campaigns.
Training - MBE provide refresher training courses, on site training and other head office based courses.
Head Office Staff - The MBE head office staff, with over 120 years combined experience in franchising, is always available to you. Every day you’ll have a team of dedicated experts to answer your questions, listen to your recommendations, and provide assistance.
Area Franchisees - In addition to the support given to MBE franchise owners by head office, the MBE franchise system operates a support structure of Area Franchisees who each cover a specific region. These representatives are individuals with specific local knowledge and experience in developing the MBE franchise in their area and often own or have owned their own MBE Centre. The primary responsibilities of our Area Franchisees includes assisting franchisees to find and secure a suitable location for their MBE Centre, to help with the opening of their Centre and to provide continued ongoing support to the franchisees in their area after the opening of their Centre. Such ongoing support includes providing advice on business development and strategy, assistance with local marketing and direction on operational issues to ensure the continued success of the franchisees' business.
What does a MBE franchise cost?
Compared to the profit opportunities offered by an MBE franchise, we consider that the projected “new franchise start up” costs to be surprisingly modest.
Whilst the exact start up costs can vary depending upon the location, size and condition of the property and the equipment specification, the typical initial investment required to open an MBE Centre is approximately £60,000, of which we require a minimum of £20,000 to be liquid capital.
The MBE franchise system provides a complete turnkey operation and an allowance has been made in the start up costs for all franchise fees, training, site selection assistance, shopfitting expenses, legal fees, and supplies and inventory.
MBE has an excellent working relationship with all the high street banks who will lend up to 70% of the total initial investment cost, subject to status. The banks can also provide overdraft facilities for the £15,000 to £30,000 in additional working capital that we recommend that our franchisees make provision for.
The MBE franchise has also been approved as a qualifying business under the parameters of the Government’s Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme. This scheme can provide financing for an MBE franchisee in circumstances where a franchisee’s lack of available security is preventing the lender from advancing a loan. Under the terms of the scheme interest rates are negotiated on a case by case basis although a premium will be payable to the Department of Trade and Industry.
In addition to the initial franchise fees payable as part of the start up costs, under the terms of the franchise agreement, our franchisees are required to pay a 6% Management Service Fee and a 4% Marketing Fee.
The Management Service Fee is payable monthly and is based upon gross sales less various exclusions and reductions for low profit margin items such as stamps. The Marketing Fee is also paid monthly and is used for national, regional and local advertising and public relations to promote the sale of products and services offered by all MBE Centres.
Return on investment
On an ongoing basis the MBE franchise offers excellent profit opportunities and more than 31% of our Centres are multiple owned worldwide. As with any business however the amount of money you can make is directly in proportion to the effort you put in and your effectiveness at promoting and selling the services and products that an MBE Centre offers. That said, franchising statistically represents a business format in which 91% of franchisees report that their business makes a profit.(1)
The initial term of the MBE franchise agreement is 10 years and all franchisees have a right to renew for an additional 10 years at the expiration of this period.(2)
Whilst we obviously hope that our relationship will last for a considerable period of time, the franchise agreement does contain a right, exercisable at any time, for our franchisees to sell their Centre.5 In our experience, it is normal in such circumstances that the outgoing franchisee will have built up a significant value in the business as a going concern and can realise a substantial return on their initial investment.
Who's Ideal for Us
Why We Like Being MBE Franchisees
“I particularly like working for myself but with the back-up and support that comes from being part of a bigger organisation,” says Colchester franchisee Steve Sleigh. “I also appreciate being able to talk to other franchisees – I know from my own past experience that setting up your own business means lots of hard work and a lot of headaches – with no-one to share it with. You can feel isolated when you’re your own boss but with MBE, there’s always someone who can help and advise. MBE matched exactly what I’d been looking for.”
Steve Sleigh, MBE Colchester
“We wanted a business where we could work together, pooling our talents and resources, but we weren’t sure exactly what,” say Bath franchisees, Jerry and Carol Walsingham. Although something in the pub or catering trade seemed the obvious choice, Carol really did not fancy the round-the-clock lifestyle that the licensed trade offers. She was delighted when Jerry suggested franchising and they chose MBE.
It was the right decision – they work well together as a team, each with separate areas of responsibility, and neither has regrets about leaving the brewing and secretarial services sectors where they had jobs before.Jerry says: “I believe we have an excellent future, not least because MBE’s range of services is uniquely placed to capitalise on the changes in the way modern business operates.”
Jerry & Carol Walsingham, MBE Bath
London franchisees, Murli Mulchandani and Rikesh Nichani, MBE’s previous franchisees of the year, now have three outlets in the capital. Business partners and brothers-in-law, they wanted a business where they could work together. Murli said: “We favoured franchising because it offered a safer route to self-employment than starting a venture alone. “We first met MBE at a London exhibition. There were many different opportunities to choose from but none appealed until we met MBE. We particularly liked the variety of services and we struck a rapport with the people too. We knew that MBE is a robust franchise, offering a range of services that businesses and individuals really want, so there will always be a demand,” he added. Territories/Locations
MBE have franchise opportunities across the entire United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. To find out more please fil in the form below.
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