When Robert and Dustin discovered the Postcard Portables franchise, they were already operating a small print business called “The Caddy Card”, which specialized in Golf Course marketing, in Medicine Hat. After assessing their business and deciding that it was very seasonal, they started researching a business that would open the doors for year-round opportunities and one that was still closely related to advertising and sales. They began their market research by talking with many business owners to try and understand what the needs were and how they could assist in providing better marketing efforts. Knowing about the need in the marketplace for good quality advertising and affordable pricing, they began their search for something affordable and attractive to offer small businesses. This search led them to a franchising opportunity with Postcard Portables. Their extensive experience in the printing and design business enabled them to put together a sound business plan and within a short 6-week window, they were approved to start operating their new franchise in Medicine Hat.
At the beginning of 2007, the business partners started the journey to acquire the Postcard Portables franchise. Their first attempt brought disappointment and discouragement, as their application for financing was declined by the bank. Fortunately, someone they knew directed them to Community Futures Entre-Corpand this was the door that finally opened. Community Futures Entre-Corp (CFEC) offers loans to new and expanding businesses throughout Southeastern Alberta and once CFEC reviewed the business plan provided by Robert and Dustin, an approval to finance their business became a reality in a very short time. In fact, 6 weeks later, they were to become proud owners of the new franchise and began operating the new business on July 1, 2007.
Ten years later, their business is thriving. Postcard Portables recently won the prestigious national award for Franchisee of The Year for the second year in a row making them only the 2nd franchisee to ever accomplish that in Postcard Portables’ history.
Reflecting on their strengths and motivators, Dustin says, “Our number one driving principle will always be customer service and dedication to building strong customer relationships”. He went on to explain how placing customer service as a top priority continues to drive profitability because those same customers continue to come back.
This story was written by Elizabeth Blair. Elizabeth is the regional innovation network coordinator at Community Futures Entre-Corp and works to oversee activities with APEX. APEX is a Regional Innovation Network that supports the growth of innovative and technologically-oriented businesses in Southeast Alberta.
APEX is a collaborative initiative between three core service providers: Community Futures Entre-Corp, Medicine Hat College; and Alberta Innovates. APEX strives to support local entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized enterprises to develop and adopt new technologies, commercialize innovative new products, improve productivity, and get connected to Alberta’s Innovation System.