Mail Drop Business Idea
Turn your experience with shipping packages into a lucrative business venture by learning how to start a mail drop business. The mail drop business, also known as a CMRA (Commercial Mail Receiving Agency), allows a customer to lease a mailbox within the store to send and receive mail and packages.
Unlike renting a post office box, a CMRA can send and receive parcels through other shipping agencies in addition to the US Postal Service.
There are many reasons that someone might choose to use the services provided by a CMRA. Business owners who operate out of their home may not want to use their home address for privacy reasons. Some would prefer to use an address that has a more prestigious reputation.
Others might want the security that comes with knowing their mail and packages are secured within a CMRA facility.
Learning How To Start A Mail Drop Business
While deciding how to start a mail drop business, consider the location for your new store. It should be in an area that’s easy to get to, has plenty of parking, and has a preferred zip code. You will need a bank of mailboxes in varying sizes as well as counter space.
Maintain a secure area for packages that must be signed for by the actual recipient. Scales will be required to accurately calculate postage for outgoing packages. A computer system will also be needed to keep track of each customer, each mailbox, and the traceable pieces of mail.
A selection of business forms should also be kept on hand including paperwork for each shipping company that is used.
Special Certifications Required
To learn how to start a mail drop business, review the requirements established by the US Postal Service. No special training is required, but each CMRA must be registered and approved by their local post office.
Before being approved, the owner or manager of the CMRA will fill out a Form 1583A and supply identification. Whenever this information changes, a revised application must be submitted to the Postmaster.
A mail drop business will require extensive organizational skills. While it’s not strictly required, a background in business management would be extremely helpful. You should also make sure that you’re proficient in the system you will use to record and track all of the information required to process all forms of mail.
This will include integrating your internal system to the USPS, UPS, and FedEx systems at a minimum.
Keys To A Successful Mail Drop Business
A successful CMRA operation will make sure that mail and packages are always sorted accurately and placed in the correct box. They will maintain accurate rates and service standards for each shipping company so that customers can feel confident that their outgoing mail will arrive on time.
If a customer has an issue with a shipment such as a late delivery or arrival, a damaged item, or a lost package, the CMRA will streamline the process required to file a claim or track the package. In short, a successful CMRA will make sending and receiving items a smooth and easy process.
Getting Customers In Your Door
After learning how to start a mail drop business, it will be time to find customers. Make sure that you are approved to send and receive mail and packages with all of the available shipping companies in addition to the USPS. Some will have websites that list their approved CMRAs, and you can request to be added to the list.
You should also create your own website so that potential customers can find you through the popular search engines. Prominent signage should also draw in customers as they see that you are the most convenient location in the area.
Advertisements in the local papers with a promotional offer can also attract new clients. Contact your local business licensing agency to obtain a list of businesses in the area. A targeted, direct-mail campaign or a few cold calls could bring in larger accounts.
Growing Your Business
Once your CMRA is successful, you can expand by offering additional services. You could begin a packaging service so that your customers can delegate that chore to you for an additional fee. Many documents require notarization prior to being sent. A Notary Public is another service that could be added.
Copying, faxing, internet services, money order processing, and bill payment services could also be added. For customers who have to get the money there yesterday, a wire transfer service might also be a good expansion choice. The core of many mail drop businesses is mail forwarding so you should consider this option as well.