The Whole Package

Giving back to the community is part of these postal franchisees' code.

By Sara Wilson

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Ever since Jane and Michael Lockett purchased their Mail Boxes Etc. (now The UPS Store) franchise in 1999, their business has been a cornerstone in the small beach town of Dana Point, California. Working as a team--Jane, 45, is in charge of accounting, purchasing and PR, while Michael, 44, conducts the day-to-day operations--they assist local residents and businesses with their packaging, mailbox and document needs. And while the specialized services of The UPS Store are helpful for customers, they have also granted Jane the opportunity to help her community in a unique way.

At the age of 17, Jane was the victim of an abusive relationship and faced the challenge of having to establish her independence. Wanting to help others who were in the same situation, she offered Laura's House, an organization that provides emergency shelter for battered women and their children, a gift no other business could--a permanent mailbox through which residents can receive mail while keeping their whereabouts anonymous. At their store's opening, the Locketts organized a community-wide back-to-school drive, and they also hold annual toy drives, donating the profits to Laura's House.

As dedicated as the Locketts are to the organization, they are just as dedicated to their in-store customer service. Says Jane, "We make it a point to know not only our customers' names, but who they are, what their businesses are and what we can do to help." Proving franchisees can give and receive, they project 2005 sales to reach $450,000.

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