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Life in the Slow Lane

Money and market share are two things the USPS is losing its grip on. Ready to step in?

This story appears in the March 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The organization is cutting staff furiously, lost more than $1.5 billion in 2001 alone and has run up $11 billion in debt. A dying dotcom? No--it's the U.S. Postal Service. Now, with the addition of anthrax to its woes, snail mail could slide into long-term decline, opening the door for entrepreneurs to offer alternatives.

With businesses increasingly using the Internet for external communications, need for the USPS' services is decreasing. The growing popularity of e-newsletters, for instance, is eating into traditional newsletter delivery. "The postal service can't compete in the newsletter market, since newsletter information has to be timely and sent out quickly," says Bill Densmore, founder of Clickshare Service Corp., a Williamstown, Massachusetts, developer of e-newsletter distribution platforms.

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