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Women in Franchising: Mail Boxes Etc.

19 July 2011


Laura Mills had many years’ experience of dealing with people of all ages, backgrounds and walks of life when she decided to realise a long-held ambition to be her own boss and chose a retail franchise Mail Boxes Etc. to start a new career as a franchisee.

After almost 20 years as a woman police officer, latterly as a prosecuting sergeant, Laura chose early retirement in 2009, relishing the challenge of doing something new and different.  

“I felt it was time for a change and I was ready to move on and try something else,” she said.
“I’d always wanted to work for myself.  I like people and can handle difficult situations but I had no real business experience so I knew I would have to develop some new skills whatever I did.   If I bought a franchise, I would get professional training and on-going support, both big considerations,” she continued.
“I explored franchising thoroughly, went to some franchise exhibitions and then researched different franchises, including Mail Boxes Etc.   I looked in depth at a couple of businesses but in the end felt that Mail Boxes Etc. was the franchise that appealed the most,” Laura continued.
Laura’s previous working life had required tact and diplomacy, as well as efficiency and good organisational skills, all essential assets for a retail-based franchisee.  Before she joined the Police, Laura had been a Superintendent Registrar, having worked her way to the top with a series of promotions.  In fact, she was the youngest woman Superintendent Registrar in the country when she was appointed to the most senior post aged just 31.
Laura has been a franchisee for almost a year now.  She thoroughly enjoys being her own boss, secure in the knowledge that she has support from her franchisor, as well as help and advice from other franchisees. 
“I am refining my new skills, getting tremendous support from head office with marketing and networking and from other local franchisees, who are only too willing to help me when I hit a log,” Laura said.
“With my staff I offer all the usual Mail Boxes Etc. services, from printing and mail boxes rental to courier services and am developing quite a niche with local auction houses.   Franchising offers so many benefits and advantages over starting a new venture on your own, not least the franchisor’s very comprehensive training and also knowing there is always help available when you need it. I am very optimistic about the future,” Laura summed up.

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