By Steve Goble
Vice President of Marketing Communications
Annex Brands, Inc.

San Diego, California (April 17, 2009) -- With baby boomers getting set to retire, and with unemployment at levels unseen in decades, many are looking to the next season in their lives. One option with growing interest is taking more control of one’s future through small business ownership, specifically with franchising.

But why franchising?

Edgar Harris, a PostalAnnex+ postal & shipping franchise owner in Oceanside, CA explained: “When I retired from the military, I knew I had the skills to try my hand at owning a business. But I didn’t want to learn from scratch. Franchising offered me the great opportunity of ownership without having to do it all on my own.”

According to an economic impact report published by the International Franchise Association (IFA), in 2005, the latest year of government data available, more than 900,000 franchised establishments in the U.S created 11 million jobs and generated over $880 billion in economic output. And when you add in jobs that support franchising, such as durable goods manufacturing, financing and construction, another 21 million jobs and $2.3 trillion have been created. That's more than 1 out of every 7 private sector jobs in America owing to franchised businesses.

Harris investigated several franchising concepts before deciding on buying a PostalAnnex+ franchise, a mail and parcel, business services franchise. “I knew I didn’t want to go home smelling like grease and have to manage a large staff, so this franchise was perfect for my personality.”

Steve Goble, vice president of marketing communications for Annex Brands, Inc., the franchisor of PostalAnnex+, said Harris found a great fit for his personality and skills. "Edgar really enjoys coming to work each day, and he cheers up everyone who visits his store," commented Goble. "Even his wife Dori has joined in the family business, and now they have two stores. Their customers love them, the neighboring businesses love them and the community loves them.”

Andrew Hack, a Handle With Care Packaging Store franchisee for over 20 years in Troy, MI says the support is what he enjoys from being a franchisee. “Owners of Handle With Care Packaging Store come from all walks of life. I have to say the support is the best thing that this franchise has given us. They’re always there for you, always there to lend a hand, always willing to work with you.”

Hack says having access to his brand’s other franchisees through an intranet system has allowed sharing of ideas and experiences he finds beneficial to his business.

Why choose franchising over starting an independent location? Franchising offers prospects several advantages:

  • a franchise model is a tested model; it can save you from an expensive learning curve;
  • a franchisor offers support in many areas of your business which you may not be able to master without larger support, including creating helpful operational and marketing programs
  • a franchised system creates economies of scale with other franchisees, often leading to better discounts with suppliers;
  • a franchise may offer instant brand recognition in a market, bringing in customers more quickly than if you have to educate them in what you do;
  • lenders may afford franchises more favorable terms due to a better-known path of experience;
  • a franchise offers a peer network where you can share ideas and opportunities, and ask questions relating to your business as well;
  • franchises may set forth a more defined level of investment required to start a business.

There also are some structured aspects of franchising that don’t always appeal to independently minded businesspeople:

  • franchisees agree to adhere to defined rules and standards as part of the relationship;
  • franchisees might be limited in the products and services they can offer to the public;
  • fees such as royalties and marketing fees must be paid to the franchisor for their support and programs.

And while a franchise is an investment, it’s a career as well. Goble recommends that a prospect interview the franchisor similar to a job interview, and talk to current franchisees as well. “Ask what kind of support is offered, what degree of flexibility is allowed," he said. "Get a list from the franchisor of people in their system similar to your background and compare notes.”

Goble also said franchisees benefit from the assistance of the IFA, the industry's largest trade association. "The IFA has been very visible in front of Congress, promoting franchising as an integral part of the American economic recovery," he commented. "Imagine having an advocate before your U.S. senator or congressman, promoting your business at no additional cost to you...all because you belong to a franchise system in which your franchisor is footing the bill. There aren't many associations like that looking out for you as an independent."

Matthew Shay, president of the IFA, commented, "In every line of business, and in every state, franchising is a major source of jobs and a critical engine of economic growth." Shay recently outlined a five-step plan the IFA submitted to Congress that will help franchise businesses be an integral part of the economic recovery. These suggestions include steps to promote better access to credit and capital, provide health insurance for employees and to provide clarity and certainty in small business tax law. Established in 1960, the IFA represents franchise concepts in over 75 industries, counting over 1,200 franchisors, 10,000 franchisees and 500 suppliers as members.

Certainly franchising is an attractive option for many right now, from the retiring seeking a second career to those who seek more control over their future after a layoff. For more information on franchising and small business ownership, consult the IFA’s website at and the US Small Business Administration at

About PostalAnnex+
PostalAnnex+ is a one-stop support center for packaging, shipping and office supply needs. Headquartered in San Diego, California, and founded in 1985, there are more than 275 locations operating nationally and internationally. All PostalAnnex+ locations are owned and operated by licensed franchisees. For more information on services or for franchising information, visit

About Handle With Care Packaging Store
Handle With Care Packaging Store (HWCPS) was founded in 1984 in Denver, Colorado. The average tenure of a HWCPS owner is over ten years, showing a depth of experience in handling the proper packing and shipping of fragile, large, awkward and valuable items. Typical items shipped include pieces of fine art, antiques, single pieces of furniture, electronic equipment and more. Currently, there are 60 franchises located across 25 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. For more information on services or for franchising information, visit

About Annex Brands
Annex Brands, Inc. is a franchisor of the PostalAnnex+, Handle With Care-Packaging Store, Sunshine Pack & Ship and SPS Moving brands. Formerly known as Postal Annex+, Inc, Annex Brands is headquartered in San Diego, California.

Its brands offer shipping and business services such as moving van, freight shipping, small parcel and overnight document delivery services, private mailbox rental, notary service, high-speed copying in black & white and color, office supplies, web site/e-commerce services, faxing service, printing, stationery, rubber address stamps, key duplication, greeting cards and assorted gift items, all in a convenient, service-oriented environment. To find out more about the company, visit

About the International Franchise Association
The International Franchise Association, the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising, is the preeminent voice and acknowledged leader for the industry worldwide. Approaching a half-century of service with a growing membership of more than 1,200 franchise systems, 10,000-plus franchisees and more than 500 firms that supply goods and services to the industry, IFA protects, enhances and promotes franchising by advancing the values of integrity, respect, trust, commitment to excellence, honesty and diversity. For more information including the 2009 Economic Outlook report, visit the IFA Web site at

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Steve & Vicki Collo, Franchisees since 1993, made their PostalAnnex+ business a family business.

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